Well, the time for worrying is over. Soon Saturday will be here and the playoffs will be upon us, and as the great Bobby Knight once said, if the entire two-deep winding up in the hospital at some point is inevitable, why not sit back and enjoy it?
So I'm done worrying about whether or not T.J. Yates's shoulder is going to be okay, done pondering the fact that at this rate Dan Pastorini might be starting the AFC Championship game for the Texans, done sweating every time Andre Johnson gets up from a tackle.
And in the spirit of the smiling, carefree me, I found several nuggets of positivity to take away from Sunday's 23-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Let's discuss:
7. The return of James Casey A virtual afterthought since his pectoral muscle pull against the Raiders in Week 5, Owen Daniels's day of rest allowed Thor to become part of the game plan again and he responded in a big way -- seven catches for 91 yards including a couple catches of the acrobatic variety. The more weapons T.J. Yates (or Jake Delhomme or whoever) can have during the playoffs, the better.
6. Bryan Braman's helmetless tackle Braman was a fan favorite one game into the preseason after a big performance against the New Orleans Saints' backups. Since then, he's been a solid fixture on special teams. Yesterday, he cemented his place in Texans' lore with this hit on a Titans return:
As a parent, this play more than cancels out any trepidation I would have over buying my kid a Braman #50 jersey due to his mushroom-growing peccadilloes in college. So if you're keeping score, parents, helmetless hit > arrest for growing your own hallucinogens.
5. Jake Delhomme is alive If T.J. Yates is a concern of yours heading into the playoffs (and honestly, no disrespect to Yates, but if he's not, then your last name is probably "Yates"), you can at least take solace in the fact that Jake Delhomme will not be a significant downgrade should it come to that. Delhomme actually looked competent for most of the game, going 18 for 28 for 211 yards and the potential game-winning touchdown. Hell, if they actually convert the two-point conversion at the end, I guarantee there is significant "start Delhomme" banter for the Bengals game this weekend. (There may already be, I'm just not paying attention as I am still on vacation for another 12 hours or so.) 4. Kareem Jackson respects tradition It's not a Texans football game if Jackson isn't giving up at least one long play down the field. Even in a game that meant nothing, K-Jax kept the embers of tradition burning by giving up a 55-yard bomb to Nate Washington.
3. Neil Rackers made a field goal...like, a really long one! If the Texans are going to win games in the postseason, they will likely be defensive struggles where points come at a premium. Rackers' accuracy had become a major concern late in the season. It actually probably still is, but at least he's going into the playoffs with a good taste in his mouth after kicking three field goals, including a 52-yarder.
2. Andre Johnson's hamstrings both worked I'm gonna stop typing before I jinx anything.
1. Gary Kubiak's decision to go for two at the end I REALLY liked that decision. And I'm not just saying that because I had the Texans catching 1 1/2 points and that decision ensured a cover. No, REALLY, I liked the decision!
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