The Texans had a much tougher test in the New York Jets Monday night than many people anticipated.
So tough that not only did the Jets beat the spread (they didn't win, Big Nasty, but I guess you don't hate money after all), but the game was still in doubt until the final seconds, as the Texans were forced to punt the ball to the Jets and allow for a final play from scrimmage.
Still, the Texans won, and in doing so, achieved several new milestones, excised some demons and continued to fill in the record books for the youngest franchise in the league.
Read on for all the firsts achieved by the Texans (that I could think of and get confirmation on—I wonder if the once-maligned Kareem Jackson is the fastest Texan to reach three interceptions on a season, but I'll need to poke through the box scores of about 50 games to be sure.)
Sometimes, a team just has your number. Ask the Miami Dolphins, who have lost seven times against the Texans and never beaten them.
The still-young Texans have a few teams they've never beaten, chief among them are the Ravens and (until tonight) the Jets.
They'll host the Ravens, who beat them on the road in the playoffs, in two weeks, and then the Vikings between a pair of games against the Colts to end the season, so it's more than just possible that they'll have cut that number to two by season's end.
Winning on the road is hard. Winning in New York is harder. And winning when you have to spend several seasons in varying states of mediocrity or ineffectiveness is the hardest.
So, it's somewhat forgivable that, until now, the Texans had not been able to defeat either the Jets or Giants in their shared home.
Yet another demon excised.
The Texans won at Lambeau a few years ago, so there aren't many high-profile locations left that should scare Texans fans.
The last real mountain for them to climb will be to beat the Colts in Indianapolis. It's a feat they should have managed last season, and looked to be an easy success this season, but with the gutsy play of Andrew Luck in beating the Packers Sunday, it's anything but assured.
So, for a while, they were perfect on Monday night.
Heck, it was only natural. The team won its first game ever, its first home opener and its first game against the hated Dallas Cowboys all at once. It won its first ever night game and its first playoff game.
Sadly, this is not yet a team that wins more than half of much of anything. (Except for games against Miami.)
(Actually, the team is above .500 under Gary Kubiak and not for the first time.)
At any rate, the team's next few forays into Monday nights went poorly. Tonight's win marks just their second on a Monday and their first on the road.
Most people won't see this as much of an accomplishment. Tebow didn't even start, though he did impact the game.
But, it was just two years ago that Tebow and the Broncos squeaked by the Texans at home in a 24-23 heartbreaker.
It was a bit of a preview to the TebowMania that was to come the following season.
Yeah, 2010 was kind of a down year for the team.
...but it did get them J.J. Watt.
This was the first game this season that the Texans didn't have a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter.
It was the first game they didn't beat the spread.
It was the first game J.J. Watt didn't record more than one sack.
It was the first game Andre Johnson didn't record two catches.
But, it wasn't a first loss, and they weren't the first 4-0 team to lose (thanks, Cardinals).