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Texans’ Long Journey Not Over Yet

By SHAUN BIJANI, SportsRadio 610
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(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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The Houston Texans are the 2011 AFC South Division Champions after an incredible come-from-behind 20-19 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon.

Texans Division Champs Gear

How amazing does that sound right now?

For the fans that have been there from the very beginning, to the ones that have just recently hopped onto the bandwagon, I’m not sure how you had it playing out in your minds, but one thing is for sure…you probably had this day planned for about the last six or seven years, right?

Better late than never!

Congratulations to those of you who stuck by this team, to those of you that didn’t and have come back to support them, and to those of you who are just now coming aboard the bandwagon…you’ll be here a while.

Not only are the Texans division champs, but the fact that they will be in the playoffs no matter what transpires from this point forward, to the end of the regular season, is incredible, considering all the adversity they’ve experienced.

If your like me, and thought that Sunday was going to result in T.J. Yates experiencing a day in which a harsh dose of reality was going to slap him and the Texans in the face…stop trying to predict the unpredictable!

Teams are not supposed to win games like the one the Texans pulled out Sunday in Cincinnati. The Texans fumbled four times, lost three of them (Yates, Ben Tate and Arian Foster), Yates’ interception in the first quarter, Niel Rackers missing the 47-yard field goal in the 2nd quarter…need I go on?

Heck, I didn’t even mention the fact that Foster was held to just 41 yards rushing, and the fact that the defense looked its most vulnerable against the run than it had maybe all season in the first half, as Cedric Benson did almost whatever he wanted.

The second half adjustments that Wade Phillips and his defense made were just terrific. From Shaun Cody and J.J. Watt stepping up and stopping the run, to DeMeco Ryans putting maybe the hardest hit he had on anybody this season early in the 3rd quarter to send a message to Benson that those yards weren’t going to come as easy in the 2nd half as they did in the first. It was again a tale of two halves for the Houston Texans, a team that nobody in the last 8 weeks has figured out how to beat.

The fact that the Texans are missing as many key pieces (Matt Schaub, Matt Leinart, Darryl  Sharpton, Mario Williams) as they are, and still wining is of course impressive.

Texans Injuries

However, the most impressive thing to me right now is that Yates just did something that we’ve been waiting for Matt Schaub to do for the last 5 years. He took his team down the field, on a 13 play, 80 yard drive that ended with Yates connecting with Kevin Walter on a 6-yard touchdown.

When hasSchaub ever led his team down the field in a game of that magnitude on the road and trailing?

Hmmm. Never.

No I’m not having that discussion, but I’m just saying! Rookie quarterback Yates led that offense down the field and won that game.

It took guts; it took skill; it took luck.

How about those two fantastic grabs by Walter early in that final drive? Especially that one-handed dandy! How about the 17-yard scramble by Yates on a 3rd and 15? How about Jacoby Jones drawing a pass-interference flag  in a critical point of a game for the 2nd straight week? How about Mr. Consistent Kevin Walter with a six-catch, 76-yard day and catching that TD!

An unbelievably believable afternoon in Cincinnati it was for the Texans!

They’ve go work to do now. They expected to win the division, they have Carolina, Indianapolis and Tennessee left on the regular season schedule, and they’re not done, they haven’t passed any test yet…they expected to be here. They may not be a team of destiny or anything like that, but I’ve got to believe, they aren’t going to go quietly, no matter who they face in the playoffs.

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