Like death and taxes, the Houston Texans winning December football games has started to become one of life's guarantees.
Buoyed by a rare boneheaded decision by Jeff Fisher and a Herculean performance by star WR Andre Johnson, the Texans outlasted the Tennessee Titans in a 13-12 AFC South slugfest.
The Titans may have lost more than a ballgame today, as Albert Haynesworth suffered what appeared to be a potentially serious knee injury.
More thoughts on today's wild but thrilling contest, after the jump.
On a day where there were no standout individual performances, I'll award this week's offensive game ball to Chris Johnson.
CJ averaged five yards per scamper during his 13-carry, 65-yard performance. Despite the close nature of the football game, I'm a bit baffled by the team's decision to abandon the run with CJ despite his success in limited opportunities.
Throwing the football 33 times during a game when your biggest deficit was a touchdown is a big no-no for a team that typically rides the coattails of its smashmouth running attack to victory.
On defense, it was great to see Jevon Kearse make such an impact. His finished the day with a sack, forced fumble and a pass deflection, while constantly making the life of Texan tackle Eric Winston miserable.
As for special teams, no surprise here. Rob Bironas successfully converted four field goals and should have had an opportunity to attempt a fifth one (more on that, momentarily).
In his last two appearances in Houston, Bironas has made an astronomical 12 field goals! Needless to say, if the Titans, for some inexplicable reason, fail to re-sign Bironas in the offseason, an opportunity to play 8 games per year in Reliant Stadium would make Houston a very attractive option for Rob.
Speaking of kicking field goals...
I was totally shocked that Jeff Fisher decided to eschew a potential, game-winning 49-yard field goal to go for the first down on 4th and 3 late in the game.
Bironas had already converted on his first four attempts and even if he misses it, the Titans had their timeouts and the two-minute warning to fall back on.
All due respect, but that was a bad decision by Fisher, IMHO.
So that's what a #1 WR looks like!
Andre Johnson ate the Tennessee Titans' secondary for lunch, dinner and dessert. He tallied 8 catches for 154 yards at the half and ended the game with 11 grabs for 207 yards.
If only the Titans could be so lucky to have a difference-maker such as Andre Johnson at the wide receiver position.
Instead, we're stuck with guys like Justin McCareins (more on him later).
Get well soon, Big Al
Not only did the Titans lose the game but they may have lost the services of their stud DT for a little while.
We can only hope that Haynesworth's injury is not too serious, because as 2007 demonstrated, we are all very aware of how ugly things can get in his absence.
We'll keep you posted on any updates on Haynesworth's injury. Hopefully, there will be good news on that front.
-The Titans were 2/13 on 3rd downs today. With that statistic in mind, it's no surprise that the team failed to reach the endzone on the afternoon.
-Cortland Finnegan's intensity is a blessing and a curse. He's one of my favorite players to watch and is well-deserving of a trip to Hawaii, but he committed a couple of boneheaded penalties that prolonged Houston drives.
-What more can I say about Justin McCareins? Despite reuniting with Dinger, J-Mac continues to be inconsistent at best. An apparent catch for a first down quickly became a fumble as J-Mac coughed up the pigskin to the bad guys.
Outside of his relationship with Dinger, I see no reason why he should be back on the Titans' roster in 2009.
-I cringe whenever LenDale White gets a carry on 3rd or 4th and 1. He's remarkably easy to take down for a guy his size during crucial, short-yardage situations.
-For the first time, not only did Matt Schaub defeat the Titans, but he actually played the entire contest. All good things come to an end, I suppose.
What are your thoughts on today's loss to the Texans?