I have been a Texan fan since day one. I won't say I never missed a game. I saw at least parts of all of them anyway. Especially during the dark days of the David Carr era, many times I became so disgusted by the end of the 3rd quarter, I just turned it to a different game or off completely. But this season was the one we were all waiting for. Winning the division and coming up with not just our first playoff appearance, but our first playoff win. And a win in a decisive fashion was all the more impressive given our injuries. I am very proud of what the Texans accomplished this season and the loss at Baltimore doesn't change any of that. Credit where credit is due after the jump.
Wade Phillips - I didn't really care for that hiring. Like many Texans fans, I was in the camp of "we don't have the right people to switch defenses." I was wrong. So very, very, very wrong. He changed a defense that was the laughingstock of the NFL last year, into a powerful, dominant defense. As long as he is our DC, future quarterbacks on examining their schedule should break into a cold sweat seeing the name "Texans" on their list.
Jonathan Joseph - A real cornerback. What a difference having a real cornerback makes for a team. His presence as a leader and a skilled, dedicated player helped change the attitude of our secondary.
J. J. Watt - Certainly not a "sexy" pick at the time, no one was upset at this pick that I can remember. He has flourished in Wade's aggressive style and while I don't see him in true contention for DROY, he should at least get a mention. His game changing interception in our first playoff victory will forever be a part of Texans history.
Danieal Manning - Like Joseph, Manning brought a hard-working and winning attitude to a secondary much in need of confidence and leadership. Not just good in coverage but adding a boost in the kick-return game, Manning as much as Joseph and Phillips deserves credit for our defensive turn-around.
T. J. Yates - Many of you might question this, but a guy who was drafted in the 5th round and expecting to wear a baseball cap all season comes in and still keeps our team competitive deserves kudos. He was a rookie and played like it at times. Say what you want about his performance in Baltimore, the kid learned the offense with no offseason and performed well in a complex, fast-paced offensive system. With coaching and time, he should at least be a good NFL quarterback in the future.
Arian Foster - The first thing an opposing defensive coordinator thinks when seeing the Texans coming up the next week is, "How do we stop Arian Foster?" I do not know of any higher compliment.
The entire offensive line - You were so good, you got actual national media coverage. Foster and Tate put up good numbers this season, and most of the credit goes to this bunch. They also did a good job keeping a rookie QB off the turf most of the time.
Brooks Reed - When we lost Mario Williams to injury, no one thought this kid would make the impact he did. In the future, what a luxury it will be to have Mario or Antonio or Connor come off the field for a breather, and not lose any of the aggressiveness or athletic talent from putting a back-up in.
Bryan Cushing - Back to form. Back to punishment. Back to pain.
Gary Kubiak - With his high powered offense in combination with a top five defense, the Texans fought through injury and adversity to give the Texans fans around the world that play-off shot we've waited so long for.
Thank you to all the Texans staff and players for your hard work and dedication this season. We could have easily folded with all the injuries, but you showed perseverance and made it into the post-season. It is my hope that the bleach days are over and the sweet nectar of victory will be our beverage of choice.