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Houston Texans

Stealth Sunday

Everyone's heard of Super Sunday.

Well, let me welcome you to Stealth Sunday.

The Texans and Raiders will be flying under the radar and nearly invisible on Sunday afternoon as 99.9 percent of football fans nationwide tune in to the Pats – Colts mega fest.

The rest of us will get together to watch the highly anticipated showdown between Sage Rosenfels and Josh McCown.

Did you know that McCown is from Jacksonville, Texas and went to Sam Houston State?

I hope Josh's family and friends have a really good spy satellite because anyone north of Conroe will be unable to decipher the top secret transmission coming out of Area 51 … errr… Oakland. The game is blacked out there, too.

Maybe we can make history again and after this one, people will call it the best game no one ever saw. Only this time, let's hope it's not the Raiders that prevail in a virtual three-hour redux of the Heidi game.

Just win, guys.

And keep in mind that the 2-5 Raiders are looking at this as a 'get well game.' If that doesn't motivate you, I don't know what will.

Here's something you probably didn't know:

The Raiders had a really good defensive end by the name of Tommy Kelly. I say 'had' because Kelly hurt his knee against the Titans last week and was lost for the season.

Kelly, at 6-6 and 300 pounds could play any position on the line. He was equally adept at stopping the run as he was harassing opposing quarterbacks.

Warren Sapp recently called Kelly "a monster."

Kelly will be replaced in the lineup Sunday by rookie Jay Richardson. That whooshing sound in the background is Ephraim Salaam exhaling.

In other news, it was good to hear that Drayton Florence received a $15,000 fine for his cheap shot on quarterback Matt Schaub. He should have received a suspension.

Florence has a history of being a dirty player. If you recall, it was Florence who received a 15-yard personal foul penalty in the Chargers' playoff loss to the Patriots last January for head-butting Daniel Graham. What goes around comes around. I hope the league and opposing players take notice on this guy.

An unfortunate outcome of Schaub getting knocked out at SD is the perception by those who didn't see the play that the injury was due to poor pass protection. A lot of people don't realize the injury came during pursuit after a turnover and had nothing to do with pass protection. Many, like Marshall Faulk, see Schaub on the ground and immediately think there's that %$#*& O-line again.

What people don't realize is the offensive line is doing a pretty good job of pass protecting this year. They've only allowed 13 sacks in 8 games which is better than half the teams in the NFL, and projects to a record-low number of sacks allowed by the Texans in a season if they continue that pace over the final 8 games.

Not saying the line doesn't have it's share of problems, it does, but our lack of a viable running attack and missing a Pro Bowl WR who draws consistent double teams and would stop a lot of this 8 in the box stuff, is more of a problem than pass protection at the moment.

I'll repeat it again. With our six picks in the 2008 NFL draft, I would like to see a RB and LT on Day 1, and a RB, C, CB, and FS on Day 2.

How about this for turnover: The following players were on the Texans' 53-man roster on Week 1 of 2006 and are no longer here ('here' includes players on the 2007 IR and PUP):

Eric Moulds

Wali Lundy

David Carr

Zach Wiegert

Seth Payne

Lewis Sanders

Chad Stanley

Dexter McCleon

Philip Buchanon

Vernand Morency

DaShaun Polk

Troy Evans

Bennie Joppru

Derrick Lewis

Jason Babin

Thomas Johnson

Alfred Malone

Antwan Peek

Edell Shepherd

Guss Scott

Drew Hodgdon

You can contact Alan Burge at:

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