Yesterday’s game felt like it was taking place in 2009. The Houston Texans were not led by their defense or their dominant run game. Instead, it was an aerial assault that reminded the Texans’ fan base of a time when the entire offense consisted of WR Andre Johnson, QB Matt Schaub, and nine other nobodies.
It was a record setting day that needed all Johnson and Schaub had to offer to come away with their 43-37 overtime victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Johnson caught 14 passes for an astonishing 273 yards, both team records and career highs, while Schaub threw for 527 yards and 5 TDs. Schaub’s 527 yards tied the second most passing yards in a single game in NFL history and obviously set a franchise record and career high.
The Texans needed every yard from the Schaub-to-Johnson connection to overcome poor play virtually everywhere else on the field. The defense, unfortunately, also looked like it was 2009, allowing 458 total yards and 37 points to a team that heading into the game was among the league’s worst in both categories. The run game was average while the O-line were able to hold their ground in pass protection but struggled some to get a push when the Texans ran the ball.
Yesterday’s game was also reminiscent of the Texans’ early season games in which they jumped out to early leads on bad teams, then became stagnant and relaxed. Following a quick 7-0 lead on an impressive opening drive and the injury to starting Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert, it appeared the Texans took their foot off the pedal and got comfortable. From that point midway through the first quarter until about twelve minutes left in the contest, it was all Jaguars.
However, championship teams find ways to win, pretty or ugly. Trailing 34-20 with twelve minutes left, the Texans were able to score twice to tie the game at 34 and send it to overtime. After the teams exchanged field goals per the new overtime rules, Schaub and Johnson put their final stamp on the contest. The pair connected on a 48-yard touchdown that ended the game and improved the Texans to 9-1.
The Texans will have to put this win behind them on a short week as the team travels to Detroit to take on the Lions on Thursday.
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