By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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Week 8 is the first in which we’ve come as close as possible to average combined performance for road teams. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible, either. Visiting squads won six of 13 games on Sunday, but even a few of those were ugly.
It took the Atlanta Falcons a major collapse and one final, crushing penalty to surrender a 21-point lead that at times seemed insurmountable for the Detroit Lions to notch Sunday’s first road win. Seattle needed a beautiful strike from Russell Wilson to Luke Willson to complete a 13-9 comeback win over thePanthers in Charlotte. It was a productive drive at just the right time, but that doesn’t erase the fact that Seattle had a horrid day offensively. I’m sorry, Wilson.
With that being said, we still had a few diamonds in the rough on Sunday. Here are your most outstanding away from home.
Greatest on the Road …
Arian Foster, Houston Texans
So much for Foster being past his prime.
The Texans‘ running back once again looks like the undrafted back out of Tennessee with a chip larger than the Astrodome — or whatever is left of it — on his shoulder. He’s quick, powerful and he looks so smooth running the football.
Tennessee is bad — we’re all well aware of this — but Foster took care of business from the outset. Tied 3-3 midway through the second quarter, Foster took a zone handoff and cut back before accelerating across and down the field toward the pylon, outrunning three defenders and hurdling another before crossing the goal line for Houston’s first touchdown of the afternoon.
Foster’s 151 yards and two touchdowns powered a Texans rushing attack that chewed up 212 yards on the ground. The back also caught four passes out of the backfield for 22 yards and another touchdown. Essentially, Foster was Houston’s offense on Sunday, while JJ Watt and Co. made sure Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger learned to respect the football game, not his selfie game.
What’s more impressive is Foster’s recent run. The running back who consistently wound up in the headlines for his on-field performance two seasons ago is suddenly back to his old form, which made him a top fantasy pick and made the Texans instant contenders, despite shoddy quarterbacking fromMatt Schaub. This time around, Houston is led by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will never be Peyton Manningbut is doing the best he can to help the Texans win games. Foster’s increased production plays a massive part in Houston’s winning percentage, and with performances like Sunday, it looks like theTexans aren’t going away anytime soon, whether at home or on the road.
Also considered …
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills