Texans Put the Cats Out

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October 22, 2006
Texans Put the Cats Out

by Dave Sabo

There’s just something about Battle Red Day. Manhandling a banged up Jacksonville squad in a convincing 27-7 win, the Texans improved their record to 4-2 wearing the stylish red jerseys, with half of those victories coming at home over the Jags. They also improved to 2-4 on the season.

With the exception of the Jags’ opening drive of the second half, Houston dominated in all facets of the game, converting two fumbles into 14 points. After a scoreless first quarter featuring a missed Kris Brown field goal, the Texans struck first on a spectacular leaping 35-yard catch by Andre Johnson. David Carr lofted a pass to the front corner of the end zone and Andre simply wouldn’t be denied as he went up and took HIS ball over two defenders and, exhibiting flawless body control, came down inbounds.

After exchanging three and outs, Carr and the Texans embarked on a 10-play, 51-yard drive which resulted in a 43-yard Kris Brown field goal. The defense forced a quick three and out series, but the Texans, victimized by a poor call on Moulds attempt to get out of bounds, could do nothing as the clock wound down and had to settle for a 10-point halftime lead.

The much maligned Texans defense played a near flawless first half holding the Jags scoreless, bottling up running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew and hanging on quarterback Byron Leftwich like a cheap suit. That would change with the opening drive of the second half.

Leftwich, nursing a bad ankle, went to the ground game. Handing off to Taylor and Jones-Drew on 6 of 7 plays, Jacksonville drove to the Texans eight yard-line. Leftwich then went up top to Ernest Wilford who benefited from a cheap interference call on cornerback Lewis Sanders. Jones-Drew plunged in from the one on the next play, and the lead was cut to three.

Like the Cowboys a week before, the Jaguars appeared to seize momentum in the third quarter. After the touchdown, the Texans meekly went three and out on their two ensuing possessions, and Jacksonville again began pounding the rock with Taylor and Jones-Drew breaking tackles and fighting for additional yards on every carry.

With the ball on the Texans 28, Taylor took the handoff and was stacked up after a gain of a yard. While fighting for extra yardage, linebacker Antwan Peek ripped the ball out of Taylor’s grasp and Mario Williams fell on it. Just like that, momentum shifted back to the Texans.

Smelling blood, Carr and the Texans went to work. Three consecutive passes went for a total of 29 yards. On the following play, Wali Lundy swept left, turned the corner, and bolted 29 yards down to the Jacksonville 15. Following a Carr bootleg, Lundy plunged in from the 2-yard line for his first NFL touchdown and 17-7 Texans lead.

On the next play from scrimmage, corner back Demarcus Faggins, just off the PUP list, drilled Jags wideout Ernest Wilford to force another fumble. Linebacker Morlon Greenwood scooped it up and rambled 15 yards to the Jacksonville 28. Three plays later, Carr hit tight end Owens Daniels on a 14-yard scoring strike and the rout was on.

Kris Brown nailed a late 21-yard field goal, and the defense forced the Jags to turn the ball over on downs on their last three series of the game. For the first time all season, Texans fans were treated to the sight of Carr kneeling to run out the clock.

Next week, the Texans travel to Nashville and look to start a winning streak as they take on the one and five Titans.

What Went Right?

Feeling a Bit Defensive? We all may owe Richard Smith an apology. This was easily the best overall defensive effort of the season. The Texans won the turnover battle 2-0 and dominated time of possession. The front seven harassed Leftwich all afternoon. Mario collected another sack and recovered a fumble. Ryans and Peek were all over the field. The unit as a whole held Jacksonville to 16 points and nearly 100 yards under their averages.

Don’t Make Him ‘Angry’. You Won’t Like Him When He’s ‘Angry’! Andre Johnson continues his Pro Bowl caliber season with another eight catches for 106 yards (his fourth 100-yard game this season) and a highlight reel touchdown. His totals agains the Jags gives him season numbers at 47 catches for 591 yards and three touchdowns. That’s a 125 catch, 1,576 yard, eight touchdown pace.

Carr Just Keeps on Cruising Another efficient, productive outing by David. Another game (his third of the season) with a passer rating over 100. Two more touchdowns. No fumbles, no picks. Made plays when needed. Better get used to the fact that he’s not going anywhere.

What Went Wrong?

Not Much! This is usually a three item feature, but it can be summed up in one entry today. Really, what went so wrong? They DID give up 102 yards on the ground. But, that’s 16 yards less than Jacksonville averages. And Brown’s missed field goal was infuriating, although he nailed two others and three PAT’s for 9 points. Sanders’ pass interference penalty? Pretty ticky-tack. Honestly, who wouldn’t take that effort every week?

Key Play Of The Game

Driving for a go-ahead touchdown (or at least a tying field goal) behind the yeoman work of running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars’ Byron Leftwich handed off to Taylor at the Texans 28 yard-line. Stacked up after a one yard gain and fighting for additional paydirt, Taylor had the ball torn away by Texans linebacker, Antwan Peek. Mario Williams fell on the ball and the Texans drove for a quick touchdown; never looking back as the rout was on.

Game 6 Recap Andre Johnson hauls in a 35-yard TD pass between a pair of Jaguars.. Final Score Houston Texans 14 Kansas City Chiefs 20 Lookin’ Good

Wali Lundy
Making his cut and hitting the hole quickly paid off for the sixth round pick. Lundy averaged nearly five yards a carry, rushing for 93 yards on 19 attempts. He also added four receptions for 15 yards. And don’t forget his touchdown.

Oh, my eyes!

Jack Del Rio
You’ve heard people say that they feel dumber after having read or heard something, right? Well, that’s how I feel every time Jack Del Rio pops up onscreen. I feel dumber for just having looked at him.

2006 Schedule Date Opponent Result 08.12 Kansas City 24-14 08.19 St. Louis 27-20 08.27 at Denver 14-17 08.31 Tampa Bay 16-13 Regular Season 09.10 Philadelphia 10-24 09.17 at Indianapolis 24-43 09.24 Washington 15-31 10.01 Miami 17-15 10.08 Bye 10.15 at Dallas 6-34 10.22 Jacksonville 27-7 10.29 at Tennessee 22-28 11.05 at NY Giants 10-14 11.12 at Jacksonville 13-10 11.19 Buffalo 21-24 11.26 at NY Jets 11-26 12.03 at Oakland 23-14 12.10 Tennessee 20-26 12.17 at New England 7-40 12.24 Indianapolis 27-24 12.31 Cleveland 14-6   Overall Record 6-10