With apologies to Charles Dickens, it was the best of games, it was the worst of games.
Battle Red Day saw the 1-1 Houston Texans hosting the still-winless Jacksonville Jaguars. This formiddable Jack Del Rio-coached AFC-South Division rival featured a suddenly competent, productive, and confident David Garrard, an always dangerous Maurice Jones-Drew, and a veteran playmaker Terry Holt-led receiving corp that included big-play capability from Marcedes Lewis and Mike Sims-Walker. They lacked, however, the knowledge of how appropriate was a scarlet-sourced sensation of intimidation from our under-achieving home team ready to be taken seriously, even if it meant dressing like so many bottles of ketchup.
Their ignorance was their bliss as they outplayed, outcoached, and outlasted the Texans. Progressive and imaginative playcalling flawlessly executed by the Jaguars led to a deluge of defensive deficiencies displayed in blown assignments and half-hearted tackles. Stop me if you've heard this before. Mike Bell, err...I mean Adrian Peterson, err...I mean Chris Johnson, err...I mean Jones-Drew (you'll have to excuse me---all their big run plays for more than half a football field untouched up the middle and busted outside for a score looked the same) told me the "chess match" in which they prevailed was one of adjustments. When Houston snuck its safetys forward, their secondary was burned by surgically precise spirals thrown to perfectly ran routes. When Houston stayed back to help prevent aerial assault, they were run against putting up slightly less resistance than room temperature butter to a hot knife.
But it was an entertaining game. Long sustained drives, impressive yardage totals for rushing and passing, and limited field goals / multiple touchdowns by both clubs. And with the 31-24 leading Jaguars threatening to ice the game with yet another successful drive late in the final period, it happened...The Fumble! This was the Best of Games!
Texans take over at midfield with 4:30 remaining in the game, impressively mixing screens, down-field passes, and determined rushes to within the Jaguar 5 yard line. Two plays after a penalty negated a game-tying touchdown pass to Kevin Walters with under 2:00 minutes to play, Houston went to the run, designating Chris Brown as the would-be hero. But instead, as he crossed the goal line in an attempt to knot the score surrounded by a sea of desperate, turbulent humanity, it happened...The Other Fumble! This was the Worst of Games!
Texans,1-2, winless at home, hosting their next game versus the Oakland Raiders the first weekend the month of Halloween.