(AP Photo/Morry Gash; previous weekly reviews are here)
Could the Texans actually be turning into a reasonably dangerous team so long as they hang on to the ball?
Despite four turnovers, the Texans (6-7) rallied late and beat the Packers (5-8) on a Kris Brown 40 yd field goal in the last minute.
But for the Texans’ turnovers, this game would not have been close. The Texans rolled up 550 yds of total offense, including 414 through the air from returning-from-injury QB Matt Schaub (28-42/414 yds/2 TD’s/1 INT). Schaub cooly engineered a 75 yard, nine-play drive in the last two minutes to set up Brown’s game-winning field goal.
Meanwhile, Texans stellar rookie RB Steve Slaton rushed for 120 yards on 26 carries and caught three passes for 40 yards, cementing his place among the top five players selected in the 2008 NFL Draft.
And, although bearing no similarity to the Ravens or the Steelers, the Texans defense continued its improved play overall, including a key sack that set up the Texans’ final drive.
So, the Texans are on somewhat of a roll as they prepare for next Sunday’s game at Reliant Stadium against the Titans (12-1). They then travel to Oakland to play the Raiders (3-10) the following week before returning home to close out the season against the Bears (7-6), who may still be in the playoff hunt at that point.
Win two out of those three games and the Texans will finish with the same 8-8 record that they finished with last season. Few people (including me) were predicting that just three weeks ago.
Moving on to the college game, with Oklahoma’s (12-1) expected demolition of Missouri in the Big 12 Championship Game, the Texas Longhorns (11-1) lost out on playing in the BCS Championship Game. So, the Horns will face Big Ten co-champ Ohio State (10-2) in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix on January 5.
Rice (9-3) will play Western Michigan (9-3) in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium on December 30 at 7 p.m., while the Houston Cougars (7-5) will take on Air Force (8-4) in the Armed Forces Bowl in Ft. Worth on New Year’s Eve afternoon.
And the Texas Aggies stay home during bowl season once again.