Walking out of Alltel Stadium, Andre Ware and I were talking about five seasons of games there and the fact that we've left with that winning feeling three times. The best might have been our hope for the future after that post-Christmas 21-0 shutout in '04 that gave the Texans a 7-8 record with Cleveland on deck. What would follow the next week and the next year would crush that hope, but it's back now in a much different way.
I'm not talking about playoff contention but maybe a nice second half run that puts the league on notice that the Texans are on the rise. Sunday's blood and guts win was one to remember. The Texans often surprise us in the games that they seemingly have "no chance" to win.
Bodies were dropping like flies (including David Carr). Houston was pulling down interceptions as if a season long order was finally delivered. Four picks were plucked by a defense that has played top-five caliber ball for the last six weeks.
Samkon Gado made the most of his running back du jour performance with 67 yards on 17 carries. But the moment of the day was Gary Kubiak going for it on 4th-and-inches at his 41-yard line for a chance to run out the clock. I thought they might be trying to draw the Jags offsides, but they went for it and got it.
Now you might think "sure that pleases the offense, but doesn't the D feel slighted that he might not have trusted them?" Hardly. That's one of those football decisions that fires up the whole team and will have everyone walking a little taller for the next week.
The three-game road journey is over, and the Texans went 1-2 with the two defeats by a combined total of 10 points. Those were winable games, but we can't dwell on that now.
Before you start looking at the schedule and counting wins, remember that a lot of weird things happen every week in this well-balanced, well-designed league. Buffalo, the Raiders and the Titans might look very beatable, but they feel that way about Houston. Bring it on.**