September 27, 2004
Texans Get Smart
by Keith Weiland
Would you believe that the Texans could ride into Kansas City and defeat the Chiefs like Genghis Khan and his Mongol army? Would you believe a pack of angry army rangers? How about two park rangers with a bad case of indigestion?
It was far from flawless, but the Texans had just enough indigestion in their bellies to eek past the nauseating Chiefs for a three-point victory and enough Prilosec to last until next Sunday.
The Texans’ bumbling style of play in Kansas City landed them in enough hot water to sanitize the Playboy mansion, but the Chiefs lost that game more than the Texans won it. The Chiefs were the more talented of the two squads, just as the Texans were in their first two losses, and they squandered countless opportunities to put the game beyond the Texans’ reach.
The Texans started in the wrong direction early when David Carr threw a lofted a pass into the endzone for an interception. Thanks to another poor performance by the offensive line, Carr spent the next three quarters doing his best Michael Flatley impression during a Lord of the Dance finale.
It wasn’t until Marcus Coleman pulled out the old cornerback-turned-safety-using-corner-cover-skills trick for a 102-yard interception return that the Texans began playing just smart enough to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. They executed a two-point conversion after the score, resulting in a 15-point swing.
While that play was the game’s turning point, Sunday’s win wasn’t assured until much later. Down by seven points halfway through the final quarter, things still looked dim for the visitors. The offense faced a third-and-17 challenge on the heels of a fumbled quarterback exchange and a sack – also known as “The Usual Suspects” – on first and second down.
The line gave Carr just enough protection though to find Derick Armstrong streaking across the middle for a 20-yard reception and a first down. Carr then withdrew into the cone of silence with Andre Johnson, launching his next pass sky-high, knowing that his best weapon would magically appear.
And he did. Johnson tipped the ball out of the hands of the Chiefs defender, fell backwards while shielding the defender’s eyes, and let the ball rest gently on his stomach for a 37-yard completion. Two plays later, Carr found Jabar Gaffney for a 9-yard touchdown catch, and lo and behold, it was a tied ballgame.
Not that the Texans ever made it look easy. Dom Capers regularly faces every kind of danger imaginable with his oft-hapless team… and is loving it. Remember the goalline dive he called last year to beat the Jaguars? Well, perhaps he wasn’t quite so swashbuckling against the Chiefs.
Twice Capers instructed his Texans to kick 49-yard clock-draining field goals on second down for fear that the offense may falter backwards once again if they attempted to get any closer, knocking themselves outside of Kris Brown’s range.
Brown was nails though, booting both of his long kicks dead center. Each could have easily flown past the crossbar from 59 yards out just as easily as they did from 49. For the way Agent Brown kept bailing out his team, he should switch his number 3 jersey for a 99.
So that’s how the Texans upset the Chiefs on the road. Would you believe that after two games and three and a half quarters the Texans would finally get smart?
Sorry about that, Chiefs.
Keith Weiland made an attempt at humor in this column, but he missed it by that much. Maxwell Smart Home