Don’t call it a comeback, I been here for years!
Yeah, that’s the one. That line from Uncle L’s seminal hit single, “Mama Said Knock You Out” perfectly sums up the career-best outing that Andre Johnson had Sunday night which helped lead Houston to a 43-37 come-from-behind win over the Jaguars.
Y’all forgot about Dre, but he’s been here for years. Literally. The 5-time Pro Bowl selectee out of the “U “ has played his entire 10-year career for the Houston Texans. He’s been bad—bad meaning good—on a bad team and now, after having the worst year of his career due to nagging injuries last season, Dre is back to his old self, rescuing Houston in overtime with a 48-yard touchdown off a screen pass from Matt Schaub FTW.
All told, the wideout caught a career-high and franchise-record 14 passes for 273 yards last Sunday, the ninth-most receiving yards in a game in NFL history and the most receiving yards in the league since Terrell Owens’ 283 for the 49ers in 2000. (Please, T.O., don’t cry about this, too.) Dre’s tally also bested his career high by 66 yards.
“I just told him I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve been around some great players, and that was the greatest day by a wide receiver I’ve ever been around,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak was quoted as saying after the game. “What a huge day. I don’t know if that one will ever be touched; that was special from the Texans’ standpoint.”
As much as the Texans have been touted as the team destined for the Super Bowl, all of the teams hopes—despite the amazing year that Arian Foster and JJ Watt are having, and they are having phenomenal years—are dependent on whether or not Dre, who is just 130 yards shy of his sixth career 1,000-yard season, will be healthy enough to play Hero Ball with the passing game.
Of course, Dre told us he was healthy again, but no one believed him, not even the Texans’ faithful, who’d seen the Miamian do things like this for years (it was his 15th-career game where he notched at least 10 catches and 100 yards, tying Jerry Rice and Wes Welker for the NFL record), without so much as a word of displeasure about all the L’s he’d seen.
“I’ve been telling you guys I’ve been feeling better and better every week,” Johnson said after the game. “Maybe you guys will believe me after that.”
Oh yes, Dre, we believe now. We always wanted to believe, but injuries have a way of derailing the best careers. However, there’s always the one that defies logic. I mean, can you say Adrian Peterson? And now Dre has come back to life. Although it was against the lowly Jags, the Texans proved that they could crawl out of a hole and claw their way back. They showed resilience. They showed why they’re the best team in the league right now.
Pressure busts pipes, but Houston wasn’t hearing that. Dre wasn’t trying to hear that, either. That’s why he’s put in the work to get back to being the best, and by golly it shows.
“I have a lot of credit to give to our training staff,” Johnson said. “Just everybody who has been working with me through the process of all the injuries and things I’ve gone through just making sure I’m in there doing what I need to do to be able to perform on Sunday.”
Guard your grill and knuckle up, Lions, Titans, Pats, Colts and Vikings, because Dre and the Texans are knockin’ people out.