We're Going Streaking Thru the Quad!
Texans have a new philosophy when it comes to turnovers: If you
can't beat 'em, join 'em. So, in spite of four turnovers and a -3
ratio, the Texans overcame single digit temps at kickoff to beat
the Packers 24-21.
Kris Brown nailed a 40-yard field goal attempt as time expired to
prevent the game from going into overtime. Brown, who converted
two other attempts earlier in the game from 30 and 41 yards, had
missed from 41 yards just before the time expired in the first half.
game-winning drive began from the Texans' own 3-yard line. Quarterback
Matt Schaub, returning from an injured MCL after missing the last
four games, connected with fullback Vonta Leach for a 22-yard gain
to move the team out for a little breathing room.
completions of 17 and 4 yards to receiver David Anderson, Schaub
found tight end Owen Daniels in the middle of the field for a 27
yard gain. A short rush positioned the spot for the field goal,
and Brown's kick enabled the Texans to escape with the victory,
their third in a row for the second time this season.
to the turnovers, two of which came in the redzone, the final score
was closer than it should have been. Daniels fumbled just a yard
away from scoring at the start of the second quarter. Slaton also
fumbled at the Packer 16 near the end of the third quarter.
Jones also misplayed a punt midway through the fourth quarter when
it bounced off his chest. That turnover set up the Packers at midfield,
a possession which they later converted into a game-tying touchdown
with six minutes to play.
Texans were otherwise resilient to the frigid Wisconsin temperatures.
Slaton rushed for 120 yards on a heavy 26-carry workload to pass
the 1,000-yard mark on the season. Schaub, wiping clean a little
rust in his return, threw for 414 yards and two touchdowns.
final drive was chock full of goodness, but it was set up by a key
defensive series that forced the Packers to punt when they least
wanted. It started with 4:37 remaining, when receiver Donald Driver
hauled in a 59-yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers to move the Packers
down to the Texans' 25-yard line.
back Ryan Grant then plowed forward for three yards, and a holding
penalty on the offense negated Grant's next attempt, a 9-yard rush
for a first down. Instead, the flag pushed Green Bay into a 2nd-and-17.
defense then guessed right. In an obvious passing situation, coordinator
Richard Smith went for the blitz, and it worked like magic. Middle
linebacker DeMeco Ryans rushed past guard Daryn Colledge to sack
Rodgers for a loss of 9 yards. Unable to climb out of the 3rd-and-26
hole, the Pack punted back to Houston and left them 1:49 on the
clock for the winning drive.
of game balls for this one, so settle in. First, for Schaub to come
back from injury - on the road and playing on the Frozen Tundra
no less - and throw for 414 yards is the stuff of guts and glory.
No, he wasn't pretty, but it was gutty nonetheless.
without Slaton, Schaub would have never had the game he did. Slaton
understands this offense now, and he is getting more slippery to
tackle as he learns it more. Also, can't forget his dash to get
out of bounds at the end of the second quarter to stop the clock
with one second left. It set up his kicker for a field goal attempt,
and that's some admirable smarts on a rookie.
next game ball goes to Kevin Walter, again making his share of big,
clutchy grabs. Oh, and he scored the first touchdown too, en route
to a six catch, 146-yard performance.
Leach, you're also getting a helmet sticker. I don't think anyone
looks forward to seeing the football in your paws, but today was
special thanks to you. Returning to the home field of your former
team, you caught three passes for a fun 48 yards, refusing to be
Turk, working with a new long snapper this week since Bryan Pittman
was suspended, booted a few beauties, but that 18-yard rush for
a first down was something out of the 1920s. I loved it.
forget the defense, which as a group had its third straight noteworthy
performance. Ryans' sack was a balls-out play, and Dunta Robinson
made a nice pick in zone coverage. As a group, the defense produced
the key stat.
a defense has this kind of efficiency on third down, it really is
the kind of stuff that begins to make up for four turnovers by the
offense. Some notable third down plays were by defensive end Tim
Bulman when he got a second quarter sack of Rodgers and by Robinson
when he made his pick of Rodgers on third down, too.
kind of performance is indicative of a team getting better pass
rush and better play from its secondary. Rodgers won't be mistaken
for ...uhm, Brett Favre... but he has been capable quarterback for
most of the season. The Texans defense didn't let him convert any
of those third down attempts until a 3rd-and-1 in the middle of
the fourth quarter.
how you win ballgames.
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