by Marc Vandermeer
“If you’re not first you’re last” – Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby in Talledega Nights
Winning going into the bye is like getting two victories. Two weeks to soak up the good vibes and rest up for the rest of the season. But the Texans did more than that. They inflated a little cushion in their chase for the AFC’s best record by demolishing Baltimore 43-13.
I talked to Ravens play by play man Gerry Sandusky (yes, that’s his name. And yes, he hears about it non-stop) after the game and said “See you in January.” You get the feeling these two teams are not done with each other this season.
After last week’s implosion against Green Bay, the Texans were back in top form. The defense was overwhelming and the offense was opportunistic and efficient. Baltimore had the early edge but once Whitney Mercilus and Connor Barwin got back to back sacks on Flacco, Barwin’s for a safety, the game changed for good.
Flacco was like a golfer who’s having a nice round but suddenly hits one in the water and the wheels come off. He was never the same.
And the game changing moment was set up by a fantastic special teams play. Donnie Jones laid a punt inside the five that Alan Ball kept out of the endzone. With the Bull Pen crazies urging them on, the Bulls on Parade did their thing and seized momentum.
This was a memorable one. But the season is not even in the back half yet and there’s plenty of work to be done. After the bye, the pesky Bills are in town, then a trip to Chicago to try the Sunday Night Football stage again.
No matter what happens next week, the Texans will take the field against Buffalo as the top team in the AFC. They have taken an important step. Now it’s time for them to catch their collective breath, get everyone freshened up and prepare for a drama-filled November.
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