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Operation Win Out: Final Phase

After dropping four straight, the Texans try to finish the drive to win four in a row and grab the first winning season in team history and a possible playoff berth. Houston has won three straight, including two hang-on-for-dear-life games against the Dolphins and the Rams.

To get a winning record would be a feather in the cap of the organization, but no matter what happens against the Patriots, the Texans still may be kicking themselves about missed opportunities from earlier this season.

This 2009 squad could forever be known as the 30-minute team. The Texans have played unbalanced games in halves against Oakland, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Miami, but they won four of those games. The recent victories over Miami and St. Louis fall under the "winning means never having to say you're sorry" category.

The 27-20 win over Miami had Dolphins officials talking about the 62-7 playoff loss to the Jags in 1999 as the last time the 'Phins looked that bad in a half. But Miami rallied for 20 unanswered points to put the heat on the Texans. Credit the Texans' defense for making some huge plays, particularly from Brian Cushing, to make life a bit too difficult on Miami's attack. And the offense got a huge shot in the arm with some big running plays from rookie Arian Foster, who finished with 97 yards.

With all the bad breaks the Texans have had in '09, it seemed like Christmas came two days late. Schaub threw a would-be pick off a deflection to Gibril Wilson, but Wilson dropped the ball. Chris Brown appeared to fumble on a swing pass, but the play was not reviewable. Ted Ginn had a TD called back on a tripping penalty. It was a day of big plays and big breaks for the visiting team.

Now, we wait for the Patriots with a lot on the line. Enjoy!

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