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Texans put on a show in win

On "Football Night in America," NBC listed the Texans as an 'on the bubble' team in the AFC playoff race. Just to have the Texans on that list is somewhat remarkable considering all of the turnovers and injuries that have plagued the team this year.

Sunday's win over Tampa Bay proved that this is the best Texans team ever and that this coaching staff and management team has things going in the right direction. That may not be enough for everyone, but we may have to live with progress instead of the playoffs for the time being.

This team will score more points than any other Texans crew and could put two defenders in the Pro Bowl for the first time since the inaugural season.

Mario Williams had another good game with a sack and prompted Tiki Barber to say that the Texans made the proper pick to start the 2006 draft. You are not hallucinating. As Reggie Bush sits with lackluster numbers and Vince Young struggles to find consistency, Mario is catching fire late in his sophomore campaign.

Tampa Bay came to Reliant Stadium with a chance to clinch the NFC South. You wondered if they would be ultra-efficient while the Texans would be too banged up to match the effort. Instead, it was the Texans who looked like the team that was better prepped for the postseason.

Sage Rosenfels is 2-0 as a starter and has more TD passes than Matt Schaub. People keep e-mailing me about quarterback controversies and if the team would have a better record if Sage had been the man all along and the Schaub deal was never triggered. Remember that if Sage had started and gotten hurt, you likely would have had a rookie or journeyman backup taking his place. The record might have been worse. It is clear that Rosenfels can play. He's under contract and the Texans are thankful that they have two starting quality QBs. Whatever happens, these guys will handle it well.

Is Charley Casserly smiling somewhere? Mario is getting some national recognition. Jabar Gaffney is making big plays in New England. Phillip Buchanon is starting on what was the No. 4 defense in the league. And I had to double check that Tampa Bay's Greg White is the same one that the Texans drafted in the 7th round in 2002. He once had four sacks in the Texans' first-ever preseason win over New Orleans...never made the team and ended up getting hooked up with Tampa Bay after playing well with Jay Gruden's arena team.

On to the Denver game now. Will the student get the better of the master as Gary Kubiak faces ex-boss Mike Shanahan? Denver looked great in a blowout win over Kansas City, but the Texans are clearly a tough team to beat at Reliant Stadium.


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