Skip to main content

2008 Rewind: Wide receivers


The Texans' air attack proved to be one of the most potent in the league, as the team finished the season ranked fourth in the NFL in passing with 266.7 yards per game.

Leading the way for Houston was three-time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson, who topped the NFL in receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,575). Johnson also averaged 13.7 yards a catch, scored eight touchdowns and became the first player in league history to have at least 10 catches in seven games in the same season.

With most teams forced to double-cover Johnson, starting wideout Kevin Walter was able to make the most of his opportunities. The sixth-year pro finished with 60 catches for 899 yards and eight touchdowns. He and Johnson combined for 175 receptions for 2,474 yards, which was the most receiving yards in the league for wide receivers on the same team.

{QUOTE}Slot receiver David Anderson put together the best season of his three-year career, recording 19 catches for 241 yards and two touchdowns. While André Davis and Jacoby Jones focused on their return duties, they combined for 16 catches for 294 yards.

Looking back

Johnson owned the month of October in the NFL. In four games that month, he caught 41 passes for 593 yards and two touchdowns to lead all receivers. Perhaps his greatest catch of the season came in Week 5 against Miami. With the less than a minute to play and the Texans trailing by five, Johnson grabbed the ball out of safety Yeremiah Bell's hands to secure a first down and set up the game-winning drive.

Johnson's greatest performance, however, was in the Texans' 13-12 win over Tennessee when the receiver racked up 11 passes for a franchise and personal-best 207 yards and a touchdown.

"We always try to get him (Johnson) balls," coach Gary Kubiak said. "I carry a little sheet with me in the back of my pocket – I've done it for years – (that says) how to get 'X' the ball, how to get 'Z' the ball, how to get 'Y' the ball. Believe me, his list is long.

"The reason to me he's special is because I can move him all over the place and it doesn't bother him. There are some players that you ask them to play too many spots and they get bogged down. He says, 'Where do you want me to go? I'll play inside, outside, I'll do whatever you want me to do.'"

Walter's versatility also proved key as the receiver made big plays running slot and post routes. He came up huge in the Texans' 24-21 win at Green Bay, catching six passes for 146 yards and one touchdown.

"He's a special player," coach Gary Kubiak said of Walter. "He plays hard in the running game. He seems to make big plays for our team all the time, very unselfish player. For us to get him for a seventh-round draft choice a couple of years ago has been just a tremendous steal. I'm really looking forward to his future.

"I don't think he's scratched the surface. I think he's going to be a fine, fine player for a long time. He takes care of himself. The game is very important to him. People can count on him."

Looking ahead

The Texans will return a deep stable of wide receivers next season. Johnson, Walter, Davis and Jones are locked into another year with the Texans. Anderson, who developed into a reliable underneath option, is an unrestricted free agent whom the team likely will re-sign.

Davis was forced to miss time in 2008 because of a finger injury but will look to re-emerge next season as a deep threat. And the maturity of Jones only spells great things for the Texans' passing game.

"This is the most fun I've had," Johnson said. "I think all of the guys can vouch for that. I think we're much closer as a football team. I think we grew a lot this year, and like I said, we just have to keep moving forward. We just have to keep working to be where we want to be."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content