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Kickoff Weekend of the 2013 NFL season will be forever remembered as a critical benchmark of progress in the history of the Houston Texans’ franchise.
Throughout its brief ten-year existence, the Texans have steadily and consistently made strives to be recognized as one of the NFL’s elite franchises. In 2002, the franchises’ inaugural campaign, The Texans’ averted football futility by finishing the season with a 4-12 mark, recording more wins that year than NFL charter member Detroit Lions (3-13), and the Cincinnati Bengals (2-14).
In the last two years, the Texans have added to its legacy by winning consecutive AFC South titles, and a playoff game in each of those years. But on Monday night, September 9, 2013, with a national audience bearing witness, the Texans may have registered its signature win – a dramatic come-from-behind-victory over a perennial AFC West contender, the San Diego Chargers.
After breaking training camp, and cruising through the preseason with a 3-1 record, the stacked Houston Texans’ squad, with quality depth at virtually all positions, was expected to dominate a talent-laden, solid Chargers’ team, regardless of the fact that Week One’s final contest took place within the confines of San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Although the Texans started the game slowly, the post-game ambiance had the regal aura of a Quinceañera, the coronation that celebrates an adolescent’s ‘graduation’ to adulthood. This was the Houston Texans’ ‘coming out’ party!
At the onset of the game, the hometown Chargers came off of the starting blocks fresh, crisp, and explosive. The Chargers’ offense appeared to be clicking on all cylinders, with trigger-man Philip Rivers firing a 14-yard touchdown strike to RB Ryan Matthews on San Diego’s first play from scrimmage. The Chargers literally ‘had its way’ with the defending AFC South Champs for 2 1/2 quarters, as Rivers threw for three more touchdowns before the Texans finally awakened, and shook off the first-game jitters.
Rivers, who passed for 195 yards and four touchdowns, accumulated 189 of those yards, and all of the touchdowns in the first three quarters. He only completed one pass out of seven attempts for eight yards in the final stanza.
Schaub and company took over midway through the third quarter. After passing for 147 yards during the first â…” of the game, Schaub threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns for the last quarter-and-a-half. He overcame a critical blunder in the game’s first play, an interception to Chargers’ DT Cam Thomas, to lead the Texans to victory from the largest deficit in team’s history. Schaub finished with 346 yards three touchdown passes against one interception.
All-Pro WR Andre Johnson snared a game-high 12 passes for 146 yards, while TE Owen Daniels hauled in two of Schaub’s three touchdown passes. RB Arian Foster led all rushers with 57 yards.
Rookie PK Randy Bullock nailed a 41-yard field goal with all zeros left on the clock to secure the Texans’ greatest regular season victory in team history. The victory OFFICIALLY catapulted The Bayou Bulls into the midst of the NFL’s elite, assuming its rightful place as a legitimate Super Bowl contender!
The Chargers, on the other hand, were left with a plethora of unanswered questions. The main concern for first-year head coach Mike McCoy will be how to sustain big leads and finish football games.
Texans’ head coach Gary Kubiak was pleased with his team’s maturity, resilience and character. “I’m disappointed with the way we played early (in the game), but we did not give up,” he told reporters at the post-game presser. “We were mature enough to hang in there and get the win, so we have to be mature enough to know that we didn’t play very well.”
The Texans will square off against division rival Tennessee Titans on Sunday (September 15th).
On Monday night the Houston Texans celebrated a ceremonial ‘Quinceañera’ of sorts, as the organization entered the realm of elite NFL Super Bowl-contending teams. Perhaps on its ACTUAL ‘Quinceañera’ (15th birthday), the Texans will reward its loyal but ravenous fans with the ultimate ‘coming out’ party… as a Super Bowl Champion!
Wednesday September 11th 2013, is the 12th Anniversary of the ‘9/11’ tragedy… Please take a moment and remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day. “9/11… WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” GOD BLESS THE USA!