Finding a Way to Finish, Finally
lot like the miracle of childbirth, the miracle of the Texans' first
win of the 2008 season was far from pretty. In fact, it was plenty
painful and a little bloody, but in the end, it was all worth it
as the Texans defeated the Dolphins 29-28.
fourth down with three seconds remaining, quarterback Matt Schaub
scrambled up the middle three yards for the game-winning touchdown.
It capped a game in which the great Charles Dickens might describe
it as being both the best of times and the worst of times.
me explain. Ahead 23-21 with 3:18 to play, Texans safety Eugene
Wilson intercepted a pass from Chad Pennington near midfield. Yay!
A turnover to ice the win, right?
but wait. Wilson fumbled during his return at the Miami 27-yard
line, breathing new life into their opponents. The Dolphins then
drove 73 yards for a touchdown and a 28-23 lead, leaving just 1:45
on the clock.
it really got weird. After overcoming a sack deep in Texan territory
to throw for a first down, Schaub misfired on a pass intended for
Andre Johnson that was ruled an interception. Replay showed the
ball bouncing to the turf, so officials gave the ball back to the
Texans, now with 52 seconds remaining and a 4th-and-10 situation
from their own 36-yard line.
then brings us to the...
who had connected with Johnson eight times earlier in the game,
threw his fourth down attempt up high into the air and let his playmaker
go and bring it down. And bring it Johnson did, hauling in the 23-yard
pass and landing in Miami territory to extend the drive.
Kevin Walter followed Johnson's spectacular catch with one of his
own, pulling in a 30-yard pass from Schaub down to the 11-yard line.
Another completion to Johnson moved the Texans down to the 3-yard
line, but it took a clutch scramble by Schaub on fourth down to
produce the game's deciding score.
end Mario Williams had yet another special game, forcing a fumble
and sacking Pennington twice. Both Johnson and Schaub set team records
today, as Johnson caught ten balls for 178 yards and a score and
Schaub threw for 379 yards and a TD. But both offensive stars also
committed costly mistakes (a redzone fumble for Johnson and a pair
of interceptions from Schaub) that made the game much closer than
it probably should have been.
and I would be remiss not to mention the punt return for a touchdown
by Jacoby Jones. Always an adventure with the ball in his hands,
Jones' return midway through the second quarter helped erase what
had been a pretty disappointing start to the game for the offense.
as their opponents had done in the last two games, the Texans converted
key fourth downs late in the game when they needed to most. Johnson's
fourth down reception capped an amazing statistical afternoon for
the go-to player on the offense, while Schaub's winning scramble
was reminiscent of the fourth down dive by David Carr to beat the
Jaguars five years ago.
this was a one point victory over a team coming off a 1-15 season
a year ago, but the Texans will take it any way they can get it.
Here's hoping Schaub and the Texans ride the emotional high from
this win to claw their way back to a respectable record.
Copyright 2008 ...In
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