Still Important

December 26, 2008

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Tex787

Still Important

From Week 12 to Week 15 the Houston Texans showed great poise and determination. They started a 4-game winning streak in Cleveland in a defensive battle. Not overly impressive, but a win is a win in the National Football League. The team then dominated a displaced looking Jacksonville Jaguars team at home in the first Monday Night game in franchise history.

Still...not overly impressive.

Week 14 came and the Texans flew into frosty Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. A Packers team that hasn't played well most of the season, but anytime you play in a historic stadium like Lambeau and in single digit temperatures....it's going to be tough!

Matt Schaub returned from his MCL injury suffered during the road game at the Vikings (Nov.2nd) and threw for a franchise-record 414 passing yards in the freezing temperatures. The headline following the game on the 'YahooN! Fantasy Sports' page called Schaub a "Cool Customer". Accurate to the tee! Despite the 400+ yard day for Schaub, the Texans turned the ball over 4 times. Most times that would equal a loss in the record books, but the Packers didn't play good football. They scored all of their 21 points off Texans turnovers. Houston escaped with a 24-21 victory with a game-winning field goal from kicker Kris Brown.

With 3 consecutive wins over the Browns, Jaguars and Packers...things were looking good. Yes any playoff hopes were most likely gone due to the horrendous start the team had, but the Texans didn't show any signs of throwing the season away. Than came Week 15 against rivals Tennessee Titans at home. A Texans fan couldn't seriously think the Texans had much of a chance against the first place Jeff Fisher coached team.

However, Kerry Collins had a bad day as he missed left and right and the Texans defense played and chipped away at the Titans offense the entire game. The Titans could have taken the lead late in the game with a 50 yard field-goal, but coach Jeff Fisher decided to go for it on a 4th and short. Titans drew up a passing play, but the Texans forced a incompletion. Fisher said the wind made him change his mind about having Bironas kick the field goal. Texans escaped with a narrow 13-12 victory. A close win, but a gigantic one at the same time!

Texans achieved their first 4-game winning streak in franchise history. The team (7-7) were in position to have their first winning season in team history at a possible 9-7. With the Raiders away and the Bears at home as the last two opponents...things were looking pretty doable for that to happen with the way the Texans were playing the previous 4 weeks.

However, the Texans laid a complete dud in Oakland as the Raiders looked like a 1st-place team out there! JaMarcus Russell had a 128.1 passing rating and the running-back duo of Justin Vargas and Darren McFadden controlled the game clock, holding the ball for 31+ min. The Texans had a chance to come back, but pass plays on both 3rd and short and 4th and short failed at the end of the game. I have to wonder what coach Kubiak was thinking passing it twice on short downs when the Raiders were near dead last in rush defense!

Anyways, the Texans had a unexpected hiccup in Oakland. However theres still 1 week remaining in the season. The Chicago Bears at 9-6 still have playoff hopes on their minds as they roll into Houston. Chicago will make the post-season (and win the NFC North) IF the Vikings lose or (win a NFC Wild-Card Spot) IF the Cowboys and Bucs both lose. However the key ingredient is Chicago would also have to win against the Texans. Houston however has been pretty good at home going 5-2 this season. I do believe the Texans will show up for the final week unlike last week against the Raiders so it should be a good-competitive match-up. We'll see how things officially shake up once Week 17 commences.

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