Skip to main content

A fourth to remember


The Texans' defense picked up their game and put the pressure on the Titans in the fourth quarter.

It was a game – or at least a fourth quarter – that was hard to describe. Writers run out of words trying to.

So do players.

"I've never been through anything like this," Texans wide receiver David Anderson said. "We get the onside kick and we're all excited. Then we get another one.

"Then we get three catches and we're all going nuts. Then André (Davis) catches a bomb and I'm just, I don't even know what I was saying. Words were just coming out of my mouth, but I don't know what they were.

"It was crazy. But it was fun. The coaches just told us to keep fighting."

That was as aptly put as Shakespeare could have explained the Texans' colossal comeback from a disastrous game – only to lose nightmarishly as the clock expired.

Rising from the dead and scoring 29 points to take a 36-35 lead with 57 seconds to play was unlike anything most players have experienced or most fans have watched. And the latter will continue to be true because almost all of the 70,000-plus fans had left the stadium when Houston fought back in such an unpredictable fashion.

The man most resurrected from the ashes of the dismal first three quarters was quarterback Sage Rosenfels, whose four touchdown passes tied an NFL record for a fourth quarter and whose 249 yards in the final period were second most in NFL history.

Rosenfelds was playing because Matt Schaub was injured. And Rosenfels had started out horribly, throwing two interceptions, one on his first play, and fumbling away another opportunity.

But the Texans looked to him in the final frame as if he were Moses pointing the way out of the desert.

"Sage is a great quarterback and we all know that," André Davis said. "Once he got his jitters out of the way, he settled down and played great."

Davis was the one who made the catch that made the near Miracle on Kirby Drive come true. He caught the 53-yard pass from Rosenfels that gave Houston its first lead since the first quarter.

"It was a crazy play," Davis said. "I saw it on the replay and I saw Sage keep holding onto the ball for so long. I just have to thank Sage and the offensive line for giving me a chance to get open and giving me a chance to make a play."

{QUOTE}Davis too had trouble describing the comeback.

"I don't think I've ever been in a game like this," he said. "The comeback was something else. It shows what we can do if we do it for three quarters. But that's not the position you want to be in. We made so many mistakes. There are so many things we need to work on."

And, of course, the phenomenal rally was all for naught when backup Titans quarterback Kerry Collins drove his team to the winning field goal, much as injured starter Vince Young had beaten the Texans late in last year's game. Collins hit passes to Roydell Williams for 17 and 46 yards to set up the NFL record eighth field goal by Tennessee's Rob Bironas that beat the Texans.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson was beside himself for giving up the first pass to Williams.

"We were in man coverage and I thought I was in pretty good position," Robinson said. "But he threw a perfect ball.

"We had to fight to get back in it and it just didn't turn out the way we wanted. I blame myself. Both those passes were on my side and I should have made the plays. This is the most painful loss of all, especially when you feel you lost it for the team."

Defensive end N.D. Kalu would have none of that.

"As defensive players, we all had a chance to be heroes and we didn't get it done," Kalu said. "But it wasn't Dunta's fault. I'm sorry we didn't get pressure on the quarterback the way we should have up front.

"Dunta's the best cornerback in the league. I apologize to him for putting him in that spot."

The unbelievable comeback was still one to remember.

"It's a tough one to take," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "But what you take from it is we never gave up. We were down and we just kept fighting. We were way down and the fans were leaving and we just stuck together because we're all we've got. And it almost paid off."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Carley is a veteran Houston sportswriter who has covered the NFL for more than 25 years. He has worked for such newspapers as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Houston Post, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the National Sports Daily covering such teams as the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Oilers, the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland Raiders.

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