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This Week in the Red Zone, or, Whoa There, Mullet-Fluffer!! Los Angeles Jaguars of Jacksonville v. Houston Texans

I'll be honest, I expected the Texans to win this one handily.  You would think that ten years of Texans fandom would teach me to never expect anything from the Texans to be a given, especially wins.  But damned fool that I am, I did expect the win.  Chalk it up to having playoff expectations (again) for my favorite team.

But early on, I should have guessed that it wouldn't be as easy as all that.  The day was filled with ominous portents:  the Texans opened the roof, Jacoby Jones caught passes early, and Kubiak punted the ball from the Jaguars' 37-yard line.

This "easy" win proved to also be an ugly one.  But a win is a win is a win, the Texans remain undefeated in the division, and they're 5-3.  That's a pretty good day, I'd say.

And they had a pretty good day in the red zone this week, which if you've forgotten, was kind of the point of this post.  So let's fire up the wayback machine and look back on the day that was.  Just be careful with the machine; it's a rental.

First Quarter

First Red Zone Drive

I have to say that I really love the fact that unlike in previous years, their first appearance in the red zone has many times been the Texans' first drive of the game.  In the eight games played so far this season, five of their opening drives have ended with points in the red zone (3 TDs and 2 FGs).  Compare that with last year, when the offense always seemed to come out sluggish and stay that way for the better part of the first half.

The Texans' first trip into the red zone began after Matt Schaub completed a pretty 25-yard pass to TDC's Sleeper of the Week Kevin Walter to get the Texans at the Glitter Kittehs' 19-yard line. 

With a new set of downs at the Jaguars' 19-yard line, Schaub thought since the last pass went so well, he'd throw it to Walter again, this time for an eight-yard completion.

On second-and-two, Arian Foster ran the ball to the right end of the line and gained a nice seven-yard chunk, putting the Texans at the Jaguars' four-yard line.

Then at first-and-goal to go at the four for the Texans, they call Foster's name again, and he gets about half the yards they needed to score.

At second-and-goal from the two, Schaub channels his inner hipster and says to himself, "Self, any quarterback can throw the ball for a touchdown.  But that's sooooo mainstream.  I can run it, it's only two yards."  Which is exactly what happened, as Schaub darted two yards into the end zone for the touchdown.

Time Spent in Red Zone:  1:57
End Result:  The unlikeliest running back on the roster, Matt Schaub, scampers the ball into the house for the touchdown!
Score:  Jacksonville 0 - Houston 7

Third Quarter

Second Red Zone Drive

It seemed like a rather long scoring drought between the Texans' first red zone drive and their second; whether this is because the offense was working on their impression of the zombies from "Thriller" is still unknown.  But we begin our second red zone drive at the Blundercats' 16 after a five-yard gain from everybody's favorite dinosaur, Arian Foster.

At the Jaguars' 16, Schaub completed a pass to Owen Daniels (finally!) for a six-yard gain, putting the Texans at the 10-yard line.

On first-and-goal, Foster ran the ball for a three yard gain after getting stopped by Paul Posluszny at the seven.

Second-and-goal would prove no better for Foster, who got stuffed for no gain on the play.

Third-and-goal from the seven saw Schaub complete a pass to Joel Dreessen for a seven-yard gain and a Texans touchdown.

Time Spent in Red Zone:  2:01
End Result:  Schaub passes to Joel Dreessen for the touchdown!
Score:  Jacksonville 7 - Houston 14

Fourth Quarter

Third Red Zone Drive

The third red zone drive came about as a result of Schaub's 12-yard pass to Joel Dreessen, which landed the offense at the Los Angeles Jaguars of Jacksonville's 13-yard line.

From there, on first-and-10, Foster hammered the ball up the middle of the line for a four yard gain.

Since the Texans had the lead going into the fourth quarter, and given his nature for taking risks, Kubiak decided to throw the ball to be different.  Just seeing if you're paying attention; in reality, he called a run by Foster, which went for five yards to the Jaguars' four-yard line.

After a brief timeout, it was third-and-one on the four-yard line.  The play is another run by Foster, who takes it to the right side of the line and into the end zone for the score.

Time Spent in Red Zone:  1:16
End Result:  Foster rushes into the end zone for a Texans touchdown!
Score:  Jacksonville 7 - Houston 21

Number of Trips in Red Zone:  3
Total Amount of Time in Red Zone:  5:14
Average Amount of Time in Red Zone:  1:44
Red Zone Efficiency:  3/3 (100%)
Scores in Red Zone:  3 TD (Schaub, Dreessen, Foster)

Next week, the Texans take on the Cleveland Browns.  At least there won't be as much glitter involved.

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