If there had never been a team called the Houston Oilers, who abandoned their city for the hills of Tennessee, then Bob McNair might have been just a philanthropic billionaire whose only tie to football was helping HBU build their stadium.
But the Oilers did move off to be the Tennessee Traitors and Bob McNair pulled off a non-Music City Miracle of his own in bringing NFL football back to the great city of Houston. Mr. McNair passed a few days ago and in a huge piece of irony the next game his beloved team played was on National TV against the team they replaced.
And what a game it was as the Texans played a dominating complete game against the Traitors at NRG Stadium winning 34-17 and stretching out to a team record 8 game winning streak. Do you like a rushing offense? The Texans put up 281 yards and 2 TDs in a line gouging display of blocking and hole splitting. Do you like a passing offense? Try on Deshaun Watson's 19 for 24 attempts for 210 yds, 0 interceptions and 2 laser strikes to new Red Zone Target Demaryius Thomas. How about defense? The Texans had 6 sacks and came up with multiple stops including the key play of the game. Are Special Teams more your thing? Ka'imi Fairbairn knocked through a 43 and 47 yard FG to boost the team to a 17 point lead and DeAndre Carter showed some flash on his returns, though with a fumble that the Texans luckily recovered. Do you like good coaching? Bill O'Brien called one of his best games and the team executed overall in a deadly fashion.
Was it a perfect game? No. The Texans did a sleepwalk early in the game as the Titans roared off to a 10-0 lead halfway through the first quarter. They allowed Marcus Mariota to complete all but one pass (22 for 23) for 303 yards and 2 TDs. They pulled their horns in a bit when they had the 17 point lead in the third quarter as the Traitors pulled within 10 points. But at critical points they made the big plays to assure a fairly easy win in the end.
- There was no doubt about the key play of the game. That was when the Zach Cunningham and Benardrick McKinney stoned Tennessee on an 4th and 1 at the three yard line. It probably helped that the Traitors inexplicably handed off to TE Luke Stocker instead of RB Derrick Henry.
- And this was followed by key play number 2 as Lamar Miller, who was a brilliant 12 carries for 167 yards busted off a 97 yard morale buster to flip the field and turn a possible 17-14 deficit into a 21-10 lead. Miller is the only NFL'er with two 97+ yard runs in his career and Texan fans remember the 85 yard run he ripped off on us the season before he signed with the team.
- Traitors coach Mike Vrabel looked like Mr. Bad Sport after the game as he barely touched hands with Bill O'Brien when he flashed by him on the field. This is particularly bothersome after Coach B.O'B gave him a solid handshake and half hug after the Texans lost to Tennessee back in week 2.
- The fans helped tremendously in this one, especially as the Texans ran off 27 straight points in the middle of the game. They caused a number of penalties on the visitors and gave the home team a big boost.
- The Texans' winning streak has been filled with luck, but they earned this one fair and square. But please Deshaun - please get down when they are about to hit you. He came very close to a crucial fumble on his key 34 yard run to set up the Texans last TD.
- It was a fairly clean game as the Texans had no turnovers (thanks to a huge fumble recovery by A.J. Moore on Carter's kickoff return muff) and the Traitors had one fumble on the next to last play of the game.
- Christian Covington had a huge game with 2.5 sacks and 2 tackles for losses, joining the big three, J.J. Watt (1.5 sacks), Whitney Mercilus (1.5 sacks) and Jadeveon Clowney (0.5 sacks) in the sackfest.