Like magic: One-armed catch from Arian Foster a thing of playoff beauty — and agame changer
BALTIMORE — Arian Foster seems to do something every game that makes people go, "Wow." The Houston Texans' Pro Bowl tailback is a one-man highlight zone.
But in the pressure of the playoffs, with the Texans trailing the heavily-favored Baltimore Ravens 17-6, Foster may have outdone himself.
On third-and-9 from the Baltimore 17-yard line, rookie quarterback T.J. Yates threw a bullet toward Foster, who stood just a few yards away. The pass was too fast, too high, borderline uncatchable.
So what's No. 23 do?
He jumps up and snags it with one arm. And he doesn't stop there. Foster squirts around the corner for a 12-yard gain and a Texans' first down.
With one unbelievable burst of athleticism, timing and grace, Houston goes from having to kick a field goal to completing an 86-yard touchdown drive. Foster's no-way snag (picture a J.J. Watt close-range interception) and an earlier third down conversion when Yates finds Andre Johnson for 13 yards when he needs nine allow the Texans to pull within 17-13.
Despite two first-quarter turnovers that set up 14 Baltimore points — including Jacoby Jones' inexplicable muffed punt gaffe — the Texans go into halftime only down four points. It's a stunning turnaround, one built on the superstar power of Foster.
He finishes the first half with 95 rushing yards on 15 carries and 29 more receiving yards on four catches. That 95 rushing yards in a half is more than the Ravens' defense has ever given up to a single player in an entire game in its postseason history.
Ravens tailback Ray Rice, who made the All Pro team over Foster — only has 30 yards on eight carries in the first half. Foster leaves little doubt who the best back on the field is, taking over the game for a sometimes struggling Texans offense. He accounts for 66 of the 86 yards on that comeback drive.