They didn’t have Nico Collins or Dameon Pierce, or Henry To’oTo’o, or Ka’imi Fairbairn, or Jimmie Ward.
They had to go against a team that was playing some of its best football of the season against one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
They had to play against the ALCS umpires moonlighting as NFL refs.
They gave up 10 points to the Bengals in the span of 100 seconds-ish in the four quarter to tie the game 20-20.
And none of that mattered.
Your Houston Texans have a winning record for the first time since the opening game of the 2021 season where the Texans beat the Jags to go up 1-0 on the season.
The team was hamstrung by multiple injuries in numerous positions and still pulled out a win in relatively convincing fashion.
Stroud, off his record setting day against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, came a bit down to Earth, registering a paltry 23/39 for 356 yards and a passing and rushing touchdown on the day.
No Nico Collins? No problem. Noah Brown stepped up to pull down seven catches for 172 yards.
No Dameon Pierce? How about Devin Singletary rushing for 150 yards and a score.
Even when the team looked like they were going to same ol’ Texans the game, the Texans dug deep and found another come-from-behind win on the arm strength of Stroud and the leg strength of Matt Ammendola getting all three field goals and three extra points that were asked of him.
In any other season, the Bengals tying up the game late would mean overtime followed by a heartbreaking yet unsurprising loss.
But…it wasn’t. The Texans won a game they were not expected to win (before kickoff, the Texans were 6.5 point dogs) and looked good doing it. Again.
And even if it had, it would’ve at least been an unconventional loss in an unconventional game. It would not have been a basic loss where the Texans are behind from minute one and never improves.
To borrow a line from the classic film Necessary Roughness: basic losing…is over.
The thread is y’all’s to celebrate in! Bring it in, y’all!