Final Score -
As if the Texans big win in week one against the Colts wasn’t exciting enough, they followed that up with what was the most exciting game in franchise history.
It wasn’t all pretty, though. But no football game as exciting as this one isn’t filled with mistakes. The Texans got off to a very slow start giving up huge passing numbers to quarterback Donovan McNabb and the Redskins. However, the Texans did play the Redskins close through the first quarter of the game. This was mainly due to Houston’s defense tightening up whenever Washington got close to scoring in the red zone.
After falling behind early 6-0, the Texans followed up with a scoring drive. On a six minute drive that ended on the first play of the second quarter, Matt Schaub ended it with a 5 yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones. On the play, Washington defensive backs were confused when what was likely the receiving target, Kevin Walter, crossed deep through the back of the endzone, freezing the defense over the middle while Jones ran an out route in the opposite direction.
Unfortunately, it went sour from there. Washington answered with a fury, putting up points by the bunches. The Redskins scored on two very short drives, neither lasting more than two and a half minutes. Ironically, they both ended in the same fashion, a one yard touchdown run by Clinton Portis. It had Redskins fans thinking win, and Washington was up 20-7 at the half.
Coming out for the second half, Houston looked to slow down the Redskins offense and get set the offense up for a comeback. Houston got the ball first, and marched down the field using a good balance of running and passing the ball. However, the drive stalled, and they had to settle for just a field goal.
Then it got worse. After more blown coverages by the Texans defense, the Redskins had no problem moving the ball down field yet again. After a few big plays, the Redskins finally capped off the drive with a 22 yard touchdown catch by Chris Cooley. Nearing the end of the third quarter, the Redskins were up 27-10.
After taking quite a beating and everyone but the Texans thinking it was over, the sleeping giant awoke. Come storming back, the Texans led by quarterback Matt Schaub were down to the Redskins 6 yard line. On a trademark play by the offense, Matt Schaub showed play action, scrambled on the bootleg, and darted a pass to Kevin Walter who was waiting near the goal line. The Texans scored the touchdown and closed the gap to just a 10 point deficit.
Following a stop by the Texans defense, the Texans offense went back to work. This drive, however, wasn’t exactly what Gary Kubiak wanted. After moving down the field yet again, the Texans had to settle for yet another field goal. But with time winding down, the Texans tightened the Redskins lead to just a touchdown.
What the Texans would do next would define how far this team has come. After a blocked field goal by Bernard Pollard, the Texans offense went back to work having to go almost the entire field to tie the game. With Andre Johnson coming back from an ankle injury from a play on the previous drive, he helped bail out the Texans by making a catch over the middle on a 3rd and long. The Texans would continue to move the ball down the field by way of the pass, but eventually stalled to a 4th and 10. With the Redskins bringing pressure, Schaub scrambled to the front of the pocket and got the ball off from beyond the 30 yard line just before getting hit. The ball floated carelessly in the air just as Andre Johnson set himself up in the endzone. In one of the greatest catches in Texans history, Andre Johnson went up and caught the ball while fighting off a defender all over him. The Texans got the touchdown, and tied with game with the extra point with about two minutes to go.
On the ensuing drive, the Texans defense had to play strong to force overtime. With the way Donovan McNabb was able to move the ball down the field earlier, the defense had to turn up the head it they wanted any chance at a win. When the Texans needed a play, they got one in the form of a Mario Williams sack. After the Redskins were held back due to help from a holding call, the Texans played it easy and went to overtime.
The Texans got another huge break, this one from a winning coin toss. The Texans obviously elected to receive, and went back to work. After getting to what would be a 52 yard field goal, the Texans stunned onlookers as they instead elected to punt the ball.
What did the Redskins do? Well, they also got in position for a 52 yard field goal. Did they attempt it? Of coarse they did. With the ball lined up on the right hash mark, Redskins kicker Graham Gano nailed the game winner. Redskins fans were rejoicing at surviving a near disaster and……wait, what? Gary Kubiak called a time out? Okay well they’ll just kick it again. So Gano sets up, kicks the ball, and if you watched the play you could see almost every Redskins fan with their hands on top of their heads. That itself explains what just happened.
The Texans weren’t going to fool around anymore. After a reviewed and upheld catch by Jacoby Jones for a first down, Matt Schaub threw a perfectly thrown ball off play action to Joel Dreessen, putting the Texans in comfortable field goal range. After two runs to the right, Texans kicker Neil Rackers was sent out for the game winning field goal. With the ball lined up on the right hash mark, Neil Rackers banged it through with no penalties or time outs. The game was finally over and all Texans fans could finally breath again.
I feel like I just finished writing a book about this game, and one could be. There are so many little things that were overlooked in this game, such as Matt Schaub passing for almost 500 yards, Mario Williams having three sacks, or Kevin Walter also having a great game statistically along with Johnson.
We want Dallas!
Game MVP – Texans QB Matt Schaub
38 for 52 passing (73%) – 497 passing yards – 3 TD – 1 INT
Texans players of the game -
Andre Johnson – 12 receptions – 158 yards receiving – 1 TD
Mario Williams – 3 tackles – 3 sacks
Kevin Walter – 11 receptions – 144 yards receiving – 1 TD