A happier holiday season

The first thoughts I had moments after Kris Brown's kick flew through the uprights Sunday were for all the fans who shell out their cash to go to games at Reliant Stadium 10 times a year. Then I thought about the folks who work at the Texans who sell tickets and sponsorships and how they needed this. Of course, I knew the players would be pumped if not relieved. Let's face it, everyone who is passionate about the Texans needed this win. Beating the Colts on Christmas Eve, 2006 will be one we remember for a long time. Who knows what happens to David Carr. This was a team win and there should be more celebrating than analyzing.

Before we applaud Ron Dayne and Carr, let's not count our chickens and assume the Texans will defeat Cleveland. It's tempting to automatically give the Texans a win on Sunday and chalk up an improved campaign of four more wins than '05. But wasn't it just two years ago that we did the same thing only to be stunned by a buzz-killing performance that left the team at 7-9 starting a downward spiral they're still in the process of reversing? There is much work to be done before the Texans can safely get into the clubhouse at 6-10.

Now let's praise Dayne. He was a wrecking ball. When he's healthy, he looks impossible to tackle without multiple defenders. The game plan was about giving the Colts a steady dose of Dayne and more Dayne. You could get excited about him being included in the Texans' plans for next year if he's going to play like this.

Carr looked very good. Every quarterback should have the tools he had to work with on Sunday. A pulverising ground game opens up the entire playbook. The throw to Andre Johnson to set up the field goal was on the money with four Colts in the zip code. It was good to see Carr have a nice moment in a season without many. Sunday's performance might not change the way you feel about Carr, but you have to admit this was a big upset and he was a significant part of it.

Maybe this was it...the so-called turning point. But the Texans have to prove they can do it back-to-back. Cleveland is no Indy, but two years ago they were a dead team walking that strolled out of Reliant Stadium with an eight-point win with a lame duck interim coach and a patch-work roster. There will be a lot of back-patting and more Carr debates this week. Let's hope the team buries the game tape but keeps the game plan and gives us the second-most wins in franchise history.

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