Foster's having huge, and efficient, season

The Houston Texans came into 2010 with high hopes as a trendy playoff pick and possessing one of the league’s most potent passing combinations with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.

Arian Foster

FosterBut now the Texans sit at 5-7 and are two games out of the division lead with four games remaining. And they’re three games back of the Baltimore Ravens for the last Wild Card spot, with four 6-6 teams blocking their path to the playoffs.

But not to worry Texans fans, there is a bright spot and it comes from their rushing, not passing, offense.

Texans running back Arian Foster, who had just 257 rushing yards last season as a rookie, leads the NFL with 1,230 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns this season.

He’s just the second NFL player since 2004 to have at least 1,230 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground in a single season in either his freshman or sophomore season. The Tennessee TitansChris Johnson is the other player to do so.

If Foster finishes the season on his current pace, he’d have 1,640 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, just the ninth player since the NFL-AFL merger (since 1970) to hit those numbers in a season. He would join an impressive list that includes Emmitt Smith, Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson.

He’s also just 53 yards from breaking Steve Slaton’s team record for single-season rushing yards.

Hey, the Texans haven’t been around that long, but it’s still an accomplishment.

Not only has Foster been piling up the yards, he’s been the NFL’s most effective goal-line back this season. Ten of his 13 rushing touchdowns have come in goal-to-go situations, the most in the league, and he’s scored on nearly 35 percent of his goal-to-go runs.

Best TD Percentage This Season
On Rushes Inside 3-Yard Line

But it’s not just about volume for Foster, he’s been efficiently getting the ball in the end zone on rushes inside the three-yard line.

Foster has scored on eight of 12 attempts from inside the three this season, tied for the second best success percentage in the NFL this season among backs with at least four rush attempts, trailing only Indianapolis Colts rookie Javarris James.

Monday night, Foster and the Texans will face the Baltimore Ravens (ESPN, 8:30 ET), who have allowed just five rushing touchdowns this season, tied for the third-fewest in the NFL.