Andre Johnson did this 14 times on Sunday. - Thomas B. Shea
After a 43-37 overtime thriller, that went exactly according to plan, BRB is praising The Natural and counting how many ways 9-1 Houston can beat you.
Before we start to Get On and Get Off A Texan, I wanted to touch on a few things from yesterday's 43-37 overtime Houston Texans' victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars that did not quite make the cut. Instead of the usual G.O.A.T. format, let us go stock rising and falling.
Rising: Tight end Garrett Graham entered with four straight games of two or more receptions. On Sunday, Graham had a career-high eight receptions, on nine targets, for a career-high 82 yards and a career-high two touchdowns. It seems that Graham is comfortable running routes and quarterback Matt Schaub trusts him. Graham's emergence could be huge for the offense down the stretch.
Falling: Kicker Shayne Graham has a noodle leg. He cannot reach the end zone, which lets teams return to the 30 on seemingly every kick. His leg struggles over 45 yards, as evidenced by both missed field goals at the end of each half - including the worst field goal I have ever seen attempted.
Falling: The north end zone's time clock. The clock fails and officials slowed down the game for about five to ten minutes to sort everything out. What a cluster that was, eh?
Rising: Schaub, who had an utterly brilliant game, two interceptions aside. Schaub's 43-for-55 day translates into 78.2% passes complete, best for any quarterback with 50-plus attempts in a game. His 527 yards is now tied for second-most in NFL history, is a franchise record, and put him over the 20,000 career mark. His five touchdowns were also a career-high. All in all, Schaub was at his best.
All of that out of the way, let's get on and get off Texans and Texans-related topics.
Get On This 'Finding Ways To Win' Thing
One of the remaining questions floating around the Houston Texans was, "Can this team play from behind and catch up?". This was answered in resounding fashion as the Texans were down 34-20 with 12:33 to play in the fourth quarter. Three Matt Schaub touchdowns and a Shayne Graham field goal later, Houston walked away with a 43-37 victory.
This shootout victory comes a week after a physical defensive battle. Houston has also dominated poor teams (Miami, Jacksonville 1, Tennessee), raced out to big leads and coasted (Denver), been nearly perfect and balanced (Baltimore), and won ugly games they probably should not have won (New York and Buffalo). They can win by shutting down quarterbacks, bottling up running backs, airing it out, and grinding out the clock.
No team has built this diverse a resume. If analysts want to continue to discredit this team, let them look foolish, but you are looking at the NFL's most-balanced team.
Get Off Old Man Andre Johnson
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article in response to the Old Man Johnson remarks. After that, Johnson kept telling people that his legs were finally feeling fresh and back under him. There were more doubts about Johnson and if he was past his days as the league's best receiver. Are there any doubters now?
A career-high 14 receptions for a career-high 273 yards (ninth-most in NFL history) and a touchdown. Naturally, his career-highs are franchise records, too. Johnson had two plays over 40 yards and did I mention the touchdown? It was a great touchdown. Nearly lost in the touchdown euphoria, Johnson had his 15th career game of 10-plus receptions and 100-plus yards. This ties the NFL record by Jerry Rice and Wes Welker. Not a bad day at the office for 80.
When Houston needed to be saved, its original superhero answered the call. Given his immense drive and desire to win a championship, a healthy Andre Johnson makes the Texans that much of a tougher out in January.
Who or what are you getting on or off, BRBers?
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