If you hadn’t told someone who is unfamiliar with what has transpired through the course of the season for the Texans, that T.J. Yates was the Texans 3rd string quarterback, I wonder what they would have thought of the rookie’s performance on Sunday.

The 5th round draft choice out of North Carolina looked poised, showed confidence and comfort in the pocket, and made some terrific throws down the field, helping his team eek one out on Sunday over the Falcons.

It was damn near impossible to predict what type of game Yates was going to have in making his first ever NFL start, yet some, including myself, didn’t think he had it in him. I’ll stand corrected, and applaud those proud Texans fans, whom I dubbed over-confident, unrealistic and flat-out dumb for thinking a 3rd string QB was going to come in and lead the Texans to victory.

Granted, Yates didn’t do it all by himself, but he stepped up and made some plays, and maybe even made a throw that Matt Schaub wouldn’t have made during the first half of Sunday’s game, that 50 yard bomb he let fly down field, where only Andre Johnson could get his hands on it. It may not have been the most beautiful throw you’d ever seen, but, Andre didn’t have to slow down or comeback for the ball, he made a helluva catch and put the Texans in scoring position, redeeming himself so to speak for having dropped a ball most receivers would catch, especially Andre, on the Texans previous possession.

The Texans defense didn’t record a sack Sunday, but they sure did put a helluva a lot of pressure on Matt Ryan, who looked more like Dan Orlovsky than Dan Orlovsky did Sunday during his game opposite the Patriots. ( Orlovsky was 30-37, threw for 353 yards and a TD…WHAT? LOL)

The Wade Phillips constructed defense picked up some key turnovers during the game, including a couple of interceptions by Kareem Jackson and Jason Allen on consecutive defensive possessions. I thought it was kind of cool, how the first person to congratulate Jackson on his first interception of the season was Jason Allen, then to see Allen make a play on a poorly thrown ball by Ryan the next possession was fitting.

Sunday was another one of those complete team efforts. Yates did his job, and did it well, but he got plenty of help from Arian Foster, who was finally able to get the run game going in the 2nd half. In all three phases of the game, they made plays when they needed to.

We’ll see if the trend, the motto that this team has had all season long, (and has had really no choice but to enact it, because it’s been another thing to execute it) continues, that “next man up” mantra.

There are 4 more games left, and a tough one coming up this Sunday on the road opposite the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Texans most certainly will be without Andre Johnson again, and with weather potentially playing a factor in Cincinnati, there is always uncertainty with any team that is used to playing in a tropical environment. But, one thing I’ve learned in covering this team this season, as predictable as they’ve been in the previous 9 years, they are anything but this season.

Are they a team of destiny? I don’t know about that, but there is no question that this team is on the verge of giving this city something it hasn’t had in damn near 20 years, and that’s NFL playoffs in Houston!

– Props to the more than Seventy-one thousand fans in attendance for Sunday’s game, you guys rocked the house!



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