So, it was a pretty bad weekend of football for me. The Mounties embarrass themselves in the Rockies and the Steelers can’t keep the pass rush off of Ben in Filthadelphia. To add insult to injury, both of my Fantasy Football teams are hanging by a thread going into tonight’s Monday night tilt. That said, there was one Mountaineer who had a good weekend, and that was Steve Slaton.
Slaton got his first career start against the Tennessee Titans yesterday (though he carried most of the load in Week One as well) and he turned in a gem. Against a stingy Titans defense Steve carried the ball 18 times for 116 yards and a Touchdown, as well as catching four passes. He tore off a 50 yarder in the first half, and picked up his first career TD on a six yard power run.
Watch the highlights here.
The Houston Texans’ official website shows that people in Texas are a little excited about their rookie runner:
Rookie Steve Slaton proved on Sunday that he is going to be something special. In his first NFL start, the running back rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown.
He did all of this against the a Tennessee defense that came into the game ranked second against the run, allowing only 60.5 yards rushing per game. The Titans defense also boasts three Pro Bowl linemen, including ends Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosh and tackle Albert Haynesworth.
“He played a lot of plays,” head coach Gary Kubiak said of Slaton. “We were going to rotate him, but he played so well we kept going with him. I liked the way he broke tackles. He just kept going and gave us a chance to make big plays.”
Slaton’s longest run came on a 50-yard scamper in the first quarter when he bounced off the defensive line and sprinted up the sideline for the second-longest run in Texans history.
In the second quarter, the rookie came up with a clutch first-down conversion when the Texans were fourth-and-one at Tennessee’s 11-yard line. On the next play, Slaton got into the end zone for a six-yard touchdown.
By halftime Slaton had racked up 104 yards on the ground, but he was used less in the second half when quarterback Matt Schaub started connecting with his receivers.
“We probably got away from the run game too quick in the second half, in all honestly,” Kubiak said. “We ran the ball good in the first half. He has a chance to be a fine player; he’s just got to keep going.”
“He has that speed and with our system he can break one at any time and I think he proved that. I wish we would’ve been able to get him the ball more in the second half.” – Eric Winston on Steve Slaton
The head coach wasn’t the only Texan praising Slaton.
“I knew Slaton was good,” offensive tackle Eric Winston said. “We all knew. He has that speed and with our system he can break one at any time and I think he proved that. I wish we would’ve been able to get him the ball more in the second half.
“I think he’s a guy that can just light (up the scoreboard) at any point. You’re going to see a lot more of him. I thought he showed a lot of heart out there. He ran tough. He’s a tough kid. He’s not big, but he took some shots and kept plugging his legs. I know he got a lot of respect out of us.”
Slaton’s banner day, however, was clouded by the offense’s struggles in the red zone where the Texans were 1-6 and forced to settle for two field goals instead of touchdowns.
“I think you can take a little joy out of it,” Slaton said. “As an offense, we have to work on the red zone and putting points on the board. If we do the same thing we did today but come out with six points instead of three, I think we’ll be doing a lot better.”