Houston Texans End Losing Skid, Shutout Tennessee Titans
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Morale was certainly low around the Houston area last week and fans began to write this season's obituaries. Unlike previous weeks, the football gods gave the Texans something positive.
His name was Rusty Smith.
Smith was nothing short of rusty against a Houston defense that has given up over 280 passing yards per game this season. The rookie struggled to complete passes and get any sort of movement down field.
The self proclaimed "best" running back in the NFL, Chris Johnson, didn't make Smith's first NFL start any easier.
Johnson finished the game with five yards on just seven carries.
On the other hand, Arian Foster was superb. The NFL's leading rusher carried the ball 30 times for 143 yards. He added nine receptions for 75 yards to become the game's leading rusher and receiver.
Enjoy the Victory
What should Andre Johnson's punishment be?
The Titans may have been banged up, but that shouldn't degrade the Houston Texans effort. The defense played its best game in two years and the offense looked good.
Gary Kubiak utilized Arian Foster the way he should.
He wasn't perfect, but Kubiak coached one of his better games this season.
With losses from both Tennessee and Indianapolis, the Texans have a legitimate shot to win the AFC South. The schedule looks tough but this team has a history of winning big games late in the season.
Note to Players: Don't Mess with Andre the Giant
Although the Texans made advances in their division, Andre Johnson's transformation into "Sugar" 'Dre Johnson in giving CB Cortland Finnegan a well overdue beating was the story of the day.
Finnegan, who is renowned for being one of the NFL's dirtiest players, has been punished by Johnson for years. Averaging 147 yards per game against the Titans, Johnson typically shakes off Finnegan's antics and leaves his stats to tell the story.
This time things went too far. After attempting to jam Andre Johnson in the neck and face area, Johnson started to spin Finnegan around like somebody tangled in a parachute.
After Finnegan punched Johnson and ripped off his helmet, 'Dre never looked back. Both helmets were off and it was showtime.
After one quick judo move and three massive blows to Finnegan's head, the career-long dispute was finally settled.
Johnson is well-known for being very passive, quiet and humble. He never gets angry and he is rarely penalized. This time was different. Nobody could have walked away.
Johnson received the game ball from Coach Kubiak and nobody in the Texans organization had anything negative to say about his actions.
Clearly, he did what had to be done.
Both players were ejected and the NFL's sanctions are still pending. Johnson had nine catches for 56 yards and a TD
World Class Trash
The Tennessee Titans are known for being a dirty squad. Even a dirty organization.
(Remember when Bud Adams flipped off the opposing team from the owner's box?)
When these two teams get together, the Titans always start something. They always create an altercation that slows and somewhat degrades the game.
Bob Levey/Getty Images
But as I sat four rows behind the Titans' bench, I was blown away by the Titans degree of unprofessionalism.
Multiple players turned to yell at fans with comments like, "You're not going to the playoffs."
No player should ever get in a shouting match with fans. And no coach should allow it to happen.
As icing on the cake, the Titans players made multiple gestures at the crowd as the brawl ensued. Down 17-0, they just looked stupid.
With Jeff Fisher potentially out as head coach of the Titans, there has been a lot of talk in Houston that he would be a suitable replacement for Gary Kubiak.
That is NOT the case.
He may be a good coach, but anybody who allows his players to carry themselves the way the Titans do is bad for any organization.
One at a Time
Hope is still alive in Houston and with some big victories on the national stage in the coming weeks, the Texans could take first place.
Gary Kubiak holds the cards. How he plays the hand could determine his fate with this team. All the offensive pieces are their, now he needs to motivate the players and put tallies in the win column.
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