The Houston Texans needed a big win on Sunday and with C.J. Stroud and a host of other A-Tier level talent out, the Texans needed a lucky win on Sunday as well. The team was down Stroud, two key receivers, and two of their best defenders to name a few. They were leaning on journeymen quarterback Case Keenum, who for nearly four full quarters looked awful. They were hoping the defense, sans their two better players, could keep a tepid Tennesee Titans offense at bay.
And above all else, they were hoping to keep the game close enough so a miracle could happen. And a miracle did happen, in the right leg of kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn. Fairbairn returned to the lineup after missing a good chunk of the season and returned in a big way. With no real offense to lean on, and Stroud out due to a concussion, the Texans needed their running game and kicking game to come through in the clutch.
For a good chunk of the game, Devin Singletary did his job, and when the time came, Fairbairn did his. In a game where points were scarce, Fairbairn was able to contribute 12 of them to the Texans in their 19-16 victory over the Titans. Two from within 30 yards, and two from over 50 yards. And it was those last two kicks that not only kept the Texans in the game as the third quarter ticked to a close, but it was also the kick that secured the victory for the Texans, with a 54-yard kick to seal the game in overtime.
It was the two longest kicks of the game and they both came when the Texans needed them the most. Prior to the game, it'd be fair to say that Fairbairn was the best kicker in franchise history. Only Kris Brown has more field goal attempts and makes in Texans history but with these two clutch kicks, it's fair to say that Brown was never as clutch.
Fairbairn delivered when his team needed him most and because of his heroics, the team now has a shot at getting to the playoffs. If they do, there won't be a debate as to who the most impressive kicker in the franchise's history is, and that debate would already be hard to win right now, after all he's done for the franchise in his career so far.