March 24, 2018

Monday Roundup: AFC South Champs Edition


What can anyone say now about the 2011 AFC South Champions, better known as the Houston Texans. Not much and with the national football spotlight being directed in other directions, the Texans have turned the 2011 season into one that fans will not soon forget.


It is hard to think that the Texans would ever be able to be in a spot like this and with the numerous injuries that have tested the depth of this team, they still have made it to the top. If you are a true fan, you experienced numerous amounts of emotions on Sunday. Starting in the 1st half the Texans put together one of their ugliest performances of the season. Many were quick to throw the towel in and try again next week, but not this Texans team and with one sack and fumble recovery the “perfect storm” took flight and ended with Neil Rackers hitting the most important extra point in franchise history to give a 20-19 victory and 1st ever playoff appearance.


1. 10 wins with 3 games left the Texans are looking to finish the season out strong. The Texans new goal is to look for home field advantage with Carolina, Indianapolis and Tennessee standing in the way.


2. What else can fans say about T.J. Yates and the job he has done in the past three weeks. With filling in during the Jacksonville game, Yates has grown right before our eyes. Yates, Sunday finished 26-44 for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. One the final drive of the game Yates looked like a seasoned veteran and marched the Texans down 63 yards for the game winning score. The Texans have found their quarterback of the future and he is gaining some valuable experience untilthe team is turned over to him.


3. Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter stepped up big time with the absence of Andre Johnson. Daniels had 7 catches for 100 yards and a key 1 handed catch to extend the drive that won the game. Walter had 6 catches for 76 yards and the game winning touchdown against his former team. Daniels and Walter have been forgotten targets in this offense, but when needed the most they answered the call.


4. As terrible call it was on the Arian Foster fumble, Eric Winston recovering the fumble was a huge point during the game. A play like that defines what the Texans have been all season, never giving up. If Winston does not pick up that fumble what happens during the game, it shows you every play is important and it is a game of inches.


5. Connor Barwin had the impact play to changed the game for the Texans coming out during the second half. He sacked Andy Dalton and caused a fumble where Brooks Reed recovered the ball. Barwin has been nothing but short of amazing since having a break out month in November. He has kept the Texans pass rush relevant and with 9.5 sacks this season he is closing in on his first double digit sack total of his career. With that sack the Texans are also one sack away from tying the franchise record of 37 set in 2005.


6. Don’t look now but the “Captain” is slowly looking like his old self and is making some plays once again for the defense. With 6 tackles on Sunday, Ryans helped keep the defense together after some early first half struggles, and this is a good sign to slowly get Ryans back into the fold again for this impressive defense.


7. Brian Cushing and Johnathan Joseph struggled Sunday, and it was the first time Texans fans have seen such poor play from the two. Cushing was missing tackles and that is something that he has not done all season. As for Joseph he had his hands full with Bengals receiver A.J. Green and gave up some key catches to Green and had a costly pass interference when the Bengals where pinned deep in their own territory. Joseph was also weak in his tackling, but let’s hope that the two just had an off week.


8. The tale of two halves:

Bengals 1st half Offense: 204 total Yards, Cedric Benson 92 yards rushing

Bengals 2nd half Offense: 81 yards, Cedric Benson -1 yard rushing


It took a little while for the Texans defense to get going, but it couldn’t have happened at a better time.


9.  There will actually be playoff football in Houston for the first time since 1993, and it couldn’t have happen to a better bunch of players. In this day and age teams are always tested, and the Texans have had their fair share this season. This team has defied the odds and quietly gotten to the dance under the media radar. Don’t worry something tells me that they won’t go away anytime soon.


10. It is times like these when being a Houston Texans fan is so sweet. After 9 years of futility it has finally happen. To all the Texans fans savor this moment, because winning is not easy especially in the NFL. As easy it is to stay on the bottom it is even harder to get to the top. It makes all those tough times worth the wait, because honeslty, right now, does not get any better than this.

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