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Houston Texans Gain Back Control of Their Destiny, For Now

Posted By Zachary Stanley On Dec 2 2010 @ 4:13 pm In Houston Texans | 2 Comments

Maybe to only tease the fans, the Texans gave their faithful a sign of hope on Sunday.

Few would have thought that the Texans could win a single game this season in the form of a shutout, but it was, in fact, the Texans defense that came through and saved their season for the time being.

An unlikely hero emerged in the form of CB Glover Quin. Quin’s three-interception performance may not have won the game, but it certainly can be credited for giving the Texans their second shutout in franchise history, and first since 2004. The Texans were fortunate to be up against rookie and 3rd string QB Ryan Smith, but that shouldn’t take away from Quin’s performance. Quin was largely criticized for his play going into week twelve, but the defense is finally showing signs of life.

“They continually get better every week,” defensive coordinator Frank Bush said.

The Texans seem to be improving in their route jumping abilities, trying to take advantage of their speed on defense. It has been hard to fathom the Texans defense improving enough to make them contenders, but that is exactly what would be if Houston could somehow continue to pull together as a unit.

Unfortunately, the Texans win was overshadowed by the media due to the altercation that took place between Andre Johnson and long-time instigator Cortland Finnegan. The incident did overshadow the win for the Texans team, however, but perhaps fueled them. Such altercations often unite teams, and that seems to be exactly what happened. Johnson (Andre Johnson Mic’d Up Against Titans [1])¬†was congratulated by head coach Gary Kubiak in front of the team after the game for having topped 60 receptions for the 8th consecutive season (an NFL record). Johnson apologized to the team but clearly his teammates liked the passion.

Johnson was fortunate to not get suspended for landing some fairly vicious blows on Finnigan. The NFL’s decision to merely fine the two players likely had a great deal to do with Finnegan’s reputation, and not wanting to put serious hurt on the Texans season by taking them out of this week’s match-up.

With the Colts losing convincingly to the Chargers on Sunday and the Jaguars falling to the Giants, the Texans remain only a game back. They can be thankful for being in the worst division in the AFC. The Texans benefited greatly from a team on the downward slope Sunday, but will face a much more frightening squad on Thursday night in Philly.

Michael Vick and the Eagles will be the ultimate test for the Texans defense. The Texans will need every bit of confidence stemming from last week’s victory to have a chance of going into Philly and upsetting the Eagles. The Texans have allowed the most TD’s through the air in the league, and the Texans will need to have a flawless game plan in hopes of containing Vick.

It is tough to see the Texans losing this game and being able to overcome a greater deficit to make the playoffs. Hope rests on the Texans ability to stop the big play, which they haven’t been able to do. Being physical on their routes, especially off the ball, is extremely important to putting a dent in the significant mismatches with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

The Texans will once again need to rely on Matt Schaub’s ability to keep Vick and the explosive Eagles offense off the field.

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[1] Andre Johnson Mic’d Up Against Titans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RAySpBq9r4&feature=player_embedded

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