Texans 43, Jags 37: Andre Johnson's 14 Catch, 273 Yard Middle Finger To The Talking Heads
Photo by Marco Torres Andre Johnson hurled himself into the stands after his final score to the delight of fans
1. And this is the biggest one....Andre Johnson. All season long, Texan fans have had to endure the endless string of talking heads discussing elite receivers around the league without Johnson's name ever coming up, largely because the Texans haven't really needed to pound the rock to him in most of their games. The reason Arian Foster is on pace to shatter all sorts of records for carries in a season isn't because he's the Texans' best player and that's what they "have to do." (Foster will tell you himself that Andre is their best player.) It's because they've been in lead nursing, clock killing mode for 90 percent of the season. The byproduct of that had been, especially early in the season, fewer targets of Andre Johnson.
Fortunately, Andre himself is the person in Houston who cares the absolute least about the number of times he catches the ball. He's also the one marquee wide receiver in the league (maybe Larry Fitzgerald, too) who couldn't care less about his stats.
That said, Sunday was a nice reminder to the rest of the league -- yes, the Texans can grind you into dust with their defense and, when it's working, their running game. But if you want to play a game where we start comparing downfield threats, where both teams are using their heavy artillery and turning it into a global thermonuclear war played with each team seeing who can get to 30, 35, 40 points first, then our best nuclear weapon is still stronger than your best nuclear weapon. We still have 80, and you don't. Our guy can throw it up there, and 80 will come down with it. And if you lay off him, we will take the 15 yard come back routes all day long, the football equivalent of taking even money on a black jack.
In retrospect, I'm glad we got to see some overtime and that the game unfolded the way it did. Not only are games like this good character builders (even against shitty teams), but that winning play was the perfect exclamation point for a career day from the best wide receiver in the game. Bubble screen, inches given, miles taken, game over.
14 catches, 273 yards, the winning touchdown, and one big "Fuck you" to the talking heads questioning Andre Johnson's eliteness.
So if you still want to pick up that phone on Monday (or Tuesday or Wednesday) and dial my radio show, Texan fan, have at it. I'd love to talk to you. I'll even let you vent about the negative, if you'd like. 713-439-1560. Call me.
All I ask is that before you do, go look at the standings. All those other teams have issues, too, most of them far worse than anything plaguing the Texans.
Your team is 9-1. Your team is still good. Your team is still favored to win the Super Bowl. So smile. And if you can't, well, you're probably a sports fan.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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