After a season that could have been lost more than once, the Texans will enter the 17th week of the season still alive in the AFC Playoff race, and that’s about all you can ask for. Sunday the Texans went to South Florida and landed an early uppercut, and held on to top the Dolphins 27-20.
Houston scored on their first five possessions, then hung on while the Dolphins worked their way back into the game to win by a touchdown. The team plays New England at home next week, and a win there will equal a 9-7 season, and could mean a seed in the AFC as a wild card.
“That’s why we’re here—to take this franchise to the next level,” said Matt Schaub, who threw for 286 yards and two early scores. “All we can do is control what we do, and that’s what we did today.”
The Texans were outscored 20-0 in the final 31 minutes, but after they built a 27-0 lead, it was enough to hang on for the win. At one point Houston enjoyed advantages of 15-2 in first downs and 307-46 in yards.
Andre Johnson scored once and made five catches for 71 yards for his second consecutive 1,500-yard season. A win next week will equal the first winning season for the Texans in franchise history. “That’s why I came here—to get this team and this organization in position like this,” coach Gary Kubiak said.
The Dolphins rallied with scoring drives of 61, 79, 74 and 58 yards to make it a game, but the Texans did enough in the end to get it done. The win not only gives Houston a shot at a winning year, it also means that the Dolphins are about done in terms of the AFC Playoff race.
“It’s unacceptable for us to play like this when the season is on the line,” Miami running back Ricky Williams said.