This week Matt Schaub and the Texans will be looking to prove that they are the new and improved version that fans saw the first two weeks when they face off against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Playing the Raiders will be a good test to see how far the Texans have come in becoming a more balanced offense. The running game exploded behind Arian Foster against the Indianapolis Colts and is still ranked in the top of the league (fifth), right behind the Oakland Raiders. A near 500-yard game in week two showed that the passing game is as dangerous as ever.
That prowess will be put to the test against the third best defense in the league. Oakland has been one of the toughest teams to pass against in recent years. So far in 2010 they have been virtually impossible to pass against holding opponents to 128 yards a game. Part of that is because they have one of the best cornerbacks in the league, but they are also not very good at defending against the run (24th).
Even though fans love to see Shaub air it out with Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, and Owen Daniels the Raiders game may be another opportunity to let Arian Foster and the running game shine. Through three weeks the undrafted free agent and former scout team player leads the NFL in rushing with 406 yards. With Oakland being weak against the run like Indianapolis head coach Gary Kubiak may just take what the defense is willing to give.
The Texans defense will be put to the test as well though. Jason Campbell has not provided the spark that was expected when he was traded for during the off-season. However, running back Darren McFadden may finally be turning into what the Raiders thought he would be when they drafted him in the first round of the 2008. Through three games he ranks third in the league with 345 yards.
He will not find the running as easy as Foster though. Houston has the second best rushing defense in the league giving up less than 55 yards a game.