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Unsung Hero: Houston Has No Master Of Panic

Jacoby's getting the crowd hyped...not that they needed it on Saturday.
Jacoby's getting the crowd hyped...not that they needed it on Saturday.

I know everyone is excited right now. I mean, how could you not be excited about the postseason version of "Unsung Heroes?"

I would love to write a post remembering Andre Johnson's first playoff game and touchdown, trumpeting the awesomeness of J.J. Watt, or talking about the surprising appearance of Earl Mitchell. However, none of those amazing Texans are my Unsung Hero of the Wild Card Weekend.

Before I name that man, I will throw out an attaboy to wide receiver Jacoby Jones. We can mock Jones all we want about his inconsistent hands, but this season has seen his blocking improve exponentially. When it comes to securing the edge on pitches, Jacoby's been second to none. He aggressively pounces on his cornerback and his blocking was a big reason why Arian Foster scored that second touchdown (along with a fantastic effort on Foster's part and a fail on Chris Crocker's effort).

Applause for blocking now done, let's jump to find our Unsung Hero.

On Saturday, one head coach buckled under the weight of playoff football. Quickly, two challenges were blown due to poor judgment on insignificant calls. It showed a coach's desperation to seize control of the game and finally win a playoff game.

Instead of taking a knee and running out the clock at the end of the first half with one timeout and 80 yards to go, the coach tells his team to move the ball and gives up a pick-six which changed the entire complexion of the game. The same head coach also increasingly leaned on his rookie quarterback when his original gameplan was to establish the running game.

Meanwhile, the other head coach never showed a sign of panic. His team came out jittery, but the plan never changed - even when the star running back bobbled the ball twice. When the game was tied at a gut-wrenching 10-10, the ol' ball coach looked calm and in control on the sidelines. He called for the usual tried and true effort of run the ball, take a play action shot here and there, and rely on the defense.

Perhaps most surprisingly was the game-winning knockout shot in the 3rd quarter. The head coach, oft criticized this season for his conservative play-calling, called for his rookie quarterback to take a deep shot on 2nd and 8. If J.J. Watt grabbed momentum by the throat, then Andre Johnson took momentum to the house and bolted the door. It was the right call at the right time.

These are reasons why head coach Gary Kubiak gets the Unsung Hero award. He didn't let the pressure get to him at all on Saturday. Kubiak stayed the course and now moves on to Baltimore for a divisional round match-up with the Ravens.

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