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A gutsy win

Kris Brown is one of the best kickers in the NFL. He usually makes field goals when you need them most and Sunday's performance was one for the ages. It's bizarre that he would miss a 25-yarder against Atlanta then boot five including the three Big Papi shots the very next week. I suppose the missed chip shot is like the great golfer occasionally missing a three-foot putt.

The team had to play it's third straight game without three of its best offensive weapons. I won't even include Jacoby Jones in that group right now because he's a rookie, but he's clearly needed. However, Andre Johnson, Ahman Green and Steve McKinney are crucial to this team's offensive production. Still, Matt Schaub got the job done even though he didn't have his best stuff like a starting pitcher grinding out a win.

This win might not be gorgeous, but this is not the BCS. Style and margin of victory is for college. This is pro football where sometimes you must win ugly with tape and glue and 57-yard field goals.

The Dolphins people were telling me how they were starting their fourth strong safety in five games. I pointed out that the Texans are on their third and no one is singing the blues for them.

The Dolphins radio booth is filled with legends like Jimmy Cefalo (who played in the Earl Campbell MNF classic in '78), Jim Mandich (TE on the '72 team) and Joe Rose (who caught two TDs in the unforgettable 41-38 OT playoff game against San Diego in 1981). They told me that fans here should be tickled pink by all the young talent on the Texans' roster. This team is bound for big things, but it takes time to build a true winner. They are on the right track.

Winning against Miami was a requirement if this is going to be the Texans' best season. They now have Jacksonville on the road and Tennessee at home. After that, they have trips to San Diego and Oakland before the bye. They have to find a way to at least split and hit the bye at 5-4 or better. It won't be easy with three of the next four on the road.

Green will likely come back first. Then Andre Johnson. Jacoby Jones could play against the Jags, and that will help too.

Bottom line: the Texans have never been 3-2. They were 2-3 in '04 and won two straight to go 4-3 before the wheels came off. The Jags always seem to bring out the best in them. We'll see if that holds up on Sunday.


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