Riding a Texans playoff high
In my last blog post, I explained how Dec. 11, 2011 was the best day in Houston Texans history.
Take that day, multiply my happiness by infinity, add the Texans’ first playoff victory in franchise history, subtract the numerous players who suffered injuries this season and you get the most unforgettable game in Houston professional football history since the Oilers’ playoff meltdown in ’94 (or — for me — Sept. 8, 2002, when the Texans defeated the Cowboys in their first game, and I fell in love with the team).
I replay Saturday’s 31-10 win against the Cincinnati Bengals in my mind constantly. It’s still so vivid — the loudest Reliant Stadium crowd I’ve ever heard on TV, the initial touchdown by Arian Foster (and his sweet haircut), Andre Johnson’s first score in a playoff game (after going almost a decade without ever experiencing what it’s like to play in the postseason with his team) and — of course — the game-changing pick six from rookie J.J. Watt. Let’s not forget how T.J. Yates looked like anything but a rookie, and the defense was on top of its game (thanks, Wade Phillips!).
Since that game, I’ve been riding a high. To have followed this team since its inception and go through a decade-long emotional roller coaster makes Saturday’s victory sweeter than anything in the world. Now that roller coaster is going up, and it can only continue in this direction now that the Texans have had a taste of playoff football.
I’m aware Houston faces its toughest challenge yet with a road game against a potent defense at Baltimore and a crowd in M&T Bank Stadium that will be as loud as the one in Reliant Stadium last weekend. This test won’t be easy, but I have faith the Texans might surprise many people (or at least those who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, which — I’ve noticed — is becoming quite full. :)).
Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, one thing’s for sure: I’ve never been prouder of the Houston Texans, and no one can take this feeling away from me.