Cats Let Texans Out of the Bag

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November 12, 2006
Cats Let Texans Out of the Bag
By Dave Sabo

And so it continues.

The Houston Texans extended their mastery of the Jacksonville Jaguars, overcoming a shoulder injury to starting quarterback David Carr and beating the beleaguered Floridians in their own house, 13-10. The win completes the sweep of the Jaguars for the 2006 season, ends the Texans 12-game road losing streak and serves up a heaping helping of crow to running back Fred Taylor, who guaranteed a Jags win earlier in the week.

Receiving the opening kickoff of a game in which they never trailed, the Texans struck quickly marching 70 yards in just under four minutes. Andre Johnson hauled in a 41-yard pass from Carr along the sideline, stepping out at the one. Two plays later, Wali Lundy pounded it in and the Texans led, 7-0.

The Texans struck again after picking off their first of four David Garrard passes. Stellar rookie linebacker DeMeco Ryans drilled Garrard as he released the ball and Morlon Greenwood gathered in the wounded duck. Houston drove to the Jaguars six behind the passing and scrambling of Carr, but had to settle for a 25-yard Kris Brown field goal to push the lead to 10.

On the ensuing possession, Jacksonville responded with a field goal of their own as Josh Scobee connected from 44 yards with just 12 seconds gone in the second quarter.

Both teams spent the rest of the half shooting themselves in the foot. Carr drove the Texans down to the Jacksonville 13-yard line where Brown promptly missed a field goal, pushing the 32-yarder wide left. Garrard then threw his second interception as his pass bounced out of wideout Matt Jones’ hands and directly into “Petey” Faggins’ waiting arms.

The Texans avoided a third quarter meltdown for the second week in a row. While Brown missed his third field goal attempt, clanging it off the right upright from 52 yards out, he did up the Texans lead to 10, hitting a 28-yarder to make it 13-3.

Both teams swapped possessions throughout the third quarter and early in the fourth, Carr left the game with a bruised throwing shoulder. Backup Sage Rosenfels entered the game and was ineffective. However, the Texans appeared to have the game in hand when Dunta Robinson intercepted Garrard in the end zone with just over seven minutes to play. It was Garrad’s fourth pick of the day. But a three-and-out by Rosenfels, helped by an awful call negating an Owen Daniels catch, led to a quick Jags drive and touchdown on a one-yard Maurice Jones-Drew plunge.

The Texans then ran the clock down to 2:42, but were forced to punt. Things looked grim when Jags wideout, Cortez Hankton, hauled in a 37-yard strike from Garrard, setting Jacksonville up on the Texans’ 22. But a holding call on Reggie Williams negated the play and two plays later, Jacksonville was forced to punt.

Needing only one first down to ice the game, Rosenfels was stuffed on third and inches at the Texans 41. On fourth and inches, head coach Gary Kubiak challenged his offensive by going for it. Samkon Gado, replacing ineffective starter, Wali Lundy, pounded straight ahead for the first down. Two kneel-downs later, the Texans escaped Alltel Stadium with their second season sweep of the hated Jaguars, 13-10.

Houston will be seeking their first winning streak of the season when they return home to Reliant Stadium to take on the Buffalo Bills next Sunday. What Went Right?

Carr Running on All Cylinders
Carr was having another productive day until taking a hard shot to his throwing shoulder early in the fourth quarter. While he was only 16 of 32 for 167 yards passing, he added 5 rushes for 48 yards, the most spectacular an 11-yard scamper on third-and-11 in which he lowered his shoulder, knocked a Jag to the ground and picked up the first.

“Suck”endary No More
The group was solid in coverage and made the most of the ample opportunities Garrard and wide out, Matt Jones, gave them. Faggins, Greenwood, Robinson and Anthony Weaver tied a franchise record with four interceptions.

You Better Run
A total team effort resulted in 148 yards on the ground for the Texans. While they struggled at times; the ground effort was there when it counted. What Went Wrong?

Sage Stumbles
One for three passing, a sack and stuffed on a crucial third down play. Sage Rosenfels has proven to be a fine back-up, but today showed why you don’t want to be forced to play him significant minutes.

Bruised and Bloodied
Carr is questionable with a bruised throwing shoulder. Zach Weigert blew out his knee and is not only done for the year, but maybe done as a Texan. Antwan Peek limped off late in the fourth quarter with a strained knee. Travis Johnson pulled a calf muscle. Just as the Texans looked to be turning the corner, the injury bug pops up.

Not-So-Special Teams
Once a strength of this team, the special teams are looking painfully ordinary in some cases and downright awful in others. Two missed field goals (one a veritable chip shot) by Brown and a 34-yard punting average out of Stanley. The coverage and return teams were serviceable. Key Play Of The Game

Facing fourth and inches at their own 41 after being stuffed on third and inches, Kubiak and the Texans hauled out the big brass ones. Going for it with the game in the balance, Gado busted up the middle for the first down. For the second time in the short history of this series, the Texans simply walked up to the Jags and smacked them right in the face in a man-up situation and basically took a win from them.

Game 1 Recap Demeco Ryans blasts David Garrard Sunday in Jacksonville. Final Score Houston Texans 13 Jacksonville Jags 10 Lookin’ Good

Samkon Gado
Gado made the most of his opportunity, replacing the ineffective Wali Lundy in the second half. He rushed for 67 yards on 17 carries, added a catch for another six yards and answered the call on fourth and inches. Oh, my eyes!

Kris Brown
Hope the house is paid off. Does ANYbody have any confidence in Brown at this point? Two missed field goals that made it a lot closer than it needed to be. Yeah, one was a 52-yarder, but there’s no excuse for missing from 32 yards. He needs to turn it around in a hurry. 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