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The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) weren’t supposed to present any sort of problem for the Houston Texans (9-1) on Sunday. With polar opposite seasons taking place for the two AFC South representatives, the consensus was that the Texans would glide past the Jags with utmost ease.
Instead, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and his men let out a huge sigh of relief as Andre Johnson turned a screen pass into a 48 yard trip to the end zone to win the game in overtime, 43-37.
“All the good teams find a way to win, no matter if it’s ugly, pretty or whatever,” said Johnson, who finished the day with the lone touchdown and career highs of 14 receptions and 273 yards. “In the win column, it either says ‘W’ or ‘L.’ They don’t ask how you got it done.”
But he was not the only one with video-game like numbers. Matt Schaub threw for 527 yards – second most all-time – and tossed five touchdown passes, two of which came in the fourth quarter during a string of 16 consecutive completions that got the Texans even after trailing 34-20 with 12:33 left to go in regulation.
It was not the first time that a Houston quarterback put up 527 yards through the air. Hall of Famer Warren Moon also did it back in 1990 with the Houston Oilers, who eventually went on to become the current-day Tennessee Titans.
After witnessing a tie just last week between the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers – the NFL’s first since 2008 – this matchup was not far from producing yet another. A 33 yard Jaguars field goal deadlocked the two sides at 37 in overtime with 4:21 remaining following a 25 yarder made by Houston around the eight minute mark.
“I told them afterwards, we didn’t come here for a tie,” said Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey. “We had some chances. We just did not make some of the plays that we haven’t made throughout the year.”
Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert was unable to return to the game after taking a sack from Houston safey Danieal Manning and injuring his elbow on the play. Backup Chad Henne played the rest of the way and had an excellent performance with 354 yards and four touchdowns.
“You’ve just got to always be prepared and ready to go in,” Henne said. “I’ve been preparing these last couple weeks like I’ve got to be the starter, and any time he (Gabbert) goes down, just jump in and hopefully not lose a step.”
Jaguars rookie receiver Justin Blackmon played a significant role in Henne’s success, hauling in a touchdown and 236 yards on seven receptions.
But as far as wide receivers were concerned, it was Johnson’s day from start to finish.
“I don’t know if that one will ever be touched,” said Kubiak. “That was special from the Texans standpoint.”
Image Courtesy : Jacksonville Jaguars