My fave NFL ballers entered this game with the Cincinnati Bengals on a six game winning streak, with the number two defense in the league, and a chance to clinch the franchise’s first playoff berth ever with a win and a Tennessee
Titans Traitors loss.
As we Texans fans watched the scoreboard Part One of that playoff equation was playing out in Nashville as the New Orleans Saints were beating the Traitors.
But the Texans got off to a slow start offensively with two turnovers leading to 10 Bengals points and my favorite NFL ballers trailing at the half 16-3.
Then came the number two ranked defense to the rescue. Connor Barwin’s early third quarter sack of Houston area native Andy Dalton deep in Bengal territory forced a fumble the Texans offense converted into a Joel Dreesen touchdown to narrow the deficit to 16-10. After letting Cedric Benson run wild in the first half for 92 yards on 13 carries, he had eight more carries for minus 1 yard to finish with 91 yards for the game and the Bengals were held by the Texans defense to 3 points.
Then the offense got it together in the fourth quarter. A Texans 83 yard 13 play drive led to a 33 yard Neil Rackers field goal that narrowed the deficit to 19-13.
And then came The Drive. The Texans went on a 13 play 80 yard march in 2:31 with no timeouts to get the game winning touchdown on a 6 yard TJ Yates strike to Kevin Walter with two seconds left. It lifted the Texans to a 20-19 win and erased years of frustration for Texans fans and players.
It was the team’s record stetting tenth win of the season and extended their winning streak to another team record seven games.
Best of all, with the Team Formerly Known As The Houston Oilers losing to the Saints 22-17, it clinched the AFC South Division title and our first playoff berth for an NFL team playing inside Harris County since the Oilers were playing NFL ball in the Astrodome back in 1993.
There are three games left in the regular season with a home game in Reliant next week against the Cam Newton led Carolina Panthers, the winless Indianapolis Colts and a season ending ballgame at Reliant against the Tennessee Traitors. But we know for certain the Texans will be playing football beyond New Year’s Day 2012.