Texans receive heroes’ welcome after winning division crown

In most seasons, the Texans franchise’s first playoff berth would be the story of the week.

It’s not often that a third-string rookie quarterback completes a 10-point fourth quarter comeback to win a division title. T.J. Yates drove the Texans 80 yards in 2:31 capped off with a touchdown with two seconds left to Kevin Walter to win it.

That play may not lead SportsCenter Monday, but it will always be looked at fondly in Houston sports history. After their win, the Texans watched the Saints-Titans game in the locker room. When the Saints won, the place exploded.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak gave a gameball to someone who didn’t even play Sunday: Andre Johnson.

“I’ve watched him stick with this organization for nine years, and I wanted him to know how proud we are of him,” Kubiak said via the Houston Chronicle. “He’s a great player, and he’s going through a tough time right now, but his leadership is a reason this team keeps fighting.”

Kubiak’s gesture points how surprising this Texans run is. They are doing it without Johnson, Mario Williams, and Matt Schaub. And Texans fans appreciate it.

The team received a heroes’ welcome when they arrived home Sunday night and had a quick impromptu rallyHere’s a video filmed by running back Ben Tate, when Johnson was introduced to the crowd.

“Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now,” Johnson said. “This is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.”

Sunday’s win gives the Texans a great chance to earn a playoff bye. Get that far, and Johnson should be back in the mix to win a gameball or two for his play on the field.

(Photo courtesy of HoustonTexans.com.)

31 responses to “Texans receive heroes’ welcome after winning division crown

  1. In a season of compelling stories, the Texans’ improbable run into the playoffs is one of those intriguing plotlines. So many injuries to all-pro caliber players, and they’re competing for a first round bye.

    Go Texans!!!

  2. Im so Proud of this team, the city of Houston deserves this !!!!

    Texans to to the bowl baby !!!!!

  3. Green Bay won it’s division weeks ago and the team and it’s fans let out a collective yawn….

  4. Class organization that really earned it. No divas, no jerks cryin’ for attention. Just a team that worked hard and got it done in spite of all the injuries.

  5. As a Colts fan, good for the Texans. I figured it would come down to them or the Titans for the AFC South once Peyton went down. I’m glad it was them instead of Cj1K and the Titans.

  6. Good for them, after many frustrating “so close” years, and being in the same division as Indianapolis Peyton Mannings.

    They way this team is built, this is more than likely the start of playoff appearances for years to come.

  7. I gotta give credit where credit is due, they’re getting the job done. It boggles my mind because I haven’t been watching them play but they keep winning. All I know is that Cincy should have tcob and couldn’t do it and don’t get me started on the Redskins (Ravens fan here shaking my fist at both of you). Props to Houston though, Manning is gone and they’re taking full advantage of the situation. Just waiting for the real Yates to stand up, 3 more weeks.

  8. In most seasons this should be the story of the week……IT SHOULD BE!!!! The success of the backup, backup. Clinching the division..The first time in the history of the franchise….It is unfortunate that the media wishes to focus on some stories and drive them into the ground, but others are all but ignored. Thanks PFT for shining the light on the Texans success…

  9. Man the city is going nuts..
    I was at the store last night and people were sporting their Texan gear (including me) and giving each other high fives. We have been starving for this for a long time…

  10. I really like watching this Texans team. Give me a team that has an All-Pro running back and another darn good one splitting carries, along with All-Pro Wide Receiver, then a top 2 defense.

    ANYTHING can happen in the playoffs. It’s going to be VERY tough for any team to go into Houston and win.

    This team is playing with all the confidence in the world right now, and most importantly, they BELIEVE. Winning is contagious and they are doing it. Winning shootouts, winning defensive battles, special teams, you name it they are finding ways to win.

    Great Job Houston! Keep it rollin’


  11. Still boggles my mind on the haters talking about Peyton being gone is the reason we won the division when last year we were contending both games easily with our high powered offense against the Colts…and may I remind you that was with the worst defense in the NFL…can only image what this year would be like.

  12. I didn’t think they’d do it. And that’s when they were healthy. Amazing work by them to overcome the injuries and continue winning. That was a gutsy effort on the road yesterday against a coming Bengals team.

  13. One of the year’s best stories. Other teams have folded when going to a back up QB but to keep winning with a 3rd string, 5th round, rookie? That is just outstanding and should elevate Kubiak to coach of the year status.
    I’m from the other end of the country but I’m routing for the Texans ’cause you gotta love a team playing with guts!

  14. Good for them.

    Maybe next year they’ll actually get a national TV game so I can see them play.

    Week 16 against the Colts won’t work for me because the area I live in, the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area with about 10 million residents, is apparently too small and uninhabited to have the NFL Network.

  15. The Saints still owe them a Super Bowl ring.

    spungy says:
    Dec 12, 2011 9:08 AM
    Give a few t-shirts to the refs too.

  16. It’s a great day to be a Texans fan! [Also great that the cowboys lost in typical December Romo fashion.]

    All the people that mention Peyton Manning being gone– can go dig up a tape of him beating the Texans, because it will NEVER happen again. Peyton’s either done in Indy, or he’s just going to get his vertebrae smashed again by the Bulls on Parade.

    The Yaters out there need to start drinking some Yaterade. Kubiak for coach of the year.

    All Texans fans finally fill their lungs with playoff air. Let’s finish strong and lockup a bye/homefield!

    Go Texans and thanks to PFT for the love!

  17. Congrats to them! As I said in another topic, Kubiak is my COTY. How many guys get a division title with a third string rookie QB ? Houston has had way more adversity to overcome than the other great coaches in the running (Harbaugh in SF and McCarthy)

  18. One word: TEAM

    The Texans truly are a team! No one player trying to outshine the others, a starter goes down and it’s “next man up”, playing all phases of the game O, D and Special Teams. This is why I think they can go far into the playoffs!

  19. I was there last night and it was absolutely electric. Many thanks to Duane Brown and Wade Smith for staying for at least an hour after it ended and signing every last autograph.

  20. Considering how poorly the Cowgirls are playing, the Texans have a chance to become the premier franchise in the Lone Star state ~ if they aren’t already. Jerry’s Joksters aren’t getting it done in Dallas. Somehow, I just can’t feel badly about that. Congratulations to the Texans ~ making it work in spite of the injuries and the odds. It will be great to have a team to root for in the playoffs and next season, also. Hey, I’ve already bought a Texans hat.

  21. Make sure all you Texan fans pitch In and buy Ed hochuli a nice Christmas gift because he gave the game to you yesterday don’t forget who got you there

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