AFC South: Joique Bell

DETROIT -- Thoughts on the Houston Texans' 34-31 overtime win over the Lions at Ford Field:

What it means: The Texans came from behind late again and pulled out an overtime win for the second week in a row, adding more fuel to a team-of-destiny feel. Houston is 10-1, and, no matter the results from around the rest of the conference, it will head into Week 13 with a two-game lead in the AFC race for home-field advantage in the playoffs. (Houston holds a head-to-head tiebreaker with Baltimore.)

What I liked: In a tense, tight game, Danieal Manning pulled the ball free from safety Brandon Pettigrew and Darryl Sharpton recovered it to end the first possession of overtime. The offense moved to position Shayne Graham for a 51-yard field goal attempt. But he missed wide left. Detroit got a 47-yard chance at a winning field goal, but Jason Hanson dinged the right upright. Houston then drove 49 yards in six plays to position Graham for a 32-yarder with 2:21 on the clock that won it.

What I also liked: More broadly, I liked the same things as I like in most Texans wins -- the resolve, the versatility, the ability to find the plays in the shape of the game in front of them that are needed to win it.

What I didn’t like: First and foremost, the rule that prevented a review of Justin Forsett’s 81-yard “touchdown run” where he appeared to be down. Lions coach Jim Schwartz threw his challenge flag. But scoring plays are automatically reviewed, and throwing the challenge flag actually negates the review possibility and earns a 15-yard penalty on the subsequent kickoff. Schwartz has to know that. But it’s still silly not to review the scoring play. The Texans got a huge break out of all of it.

What I also didn’t like: Plenty of pass defenses struggle with Calvin Johnson, but the coverage plans with corner Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) out were bad, and Megatron had a field day with eight catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Houston did do better on him in the second half, after deciding Alan Ball wasn't up to trying to cover Johnson on his own. The original plan was a poor one. After benefiting from the non-review, the Texans pulled even at 24-all. Rather than seizing control, the Texans gave up a 23-yard run up the middle for a touchdown to Joique Bell and had to fight back to evened-up again to force overtime.

Injury issues: Joseph, inside linebacker Tim Dobbins, nose tackle Shaun Cody and running back Ben Tate didn’t play. Outside linebacker Brooks Reed (groin) and right tackle Derek Newton (right knee) left the game early, and inside linebacker Bradie James suffered a hamstring injury in the second half and didn’t finish. The Texans have a mini bye now and need it to heal up.

Inevitable? The Texans had not allowed a rushing touchdown all season. They allowed two in this game, a 2-yard run by Mikel Leshoure in the first quarter and Bell’s 23-yarder in the fourth.

What’s next: The Texans play at Tennessee on Dec. 2 and at New England on "Monday Night Football" on Dec. 10.

RTC: Every word written, plus pictures

November, 11, 2010
Reading the coverage …

Arian Foster, Wade Smith and Jason Babin are on Jason Cole’s midseason All-Unlikely Team.

Houston Texans

John McClain thinks Brian Cushing back to the strong side is the right move.

Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels missed practice, says John McClain.

More on the injuries from Nick Scurfield.

Pete Prisco and Clark Judge debate Gary Kubiak’s future.

What’s “wrong” with Matt Schaub, asks Battle Red Blog.

Thoughts on Cushing and the secondary issues, from Houston Diehards.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts front office has to keep digging up suitable replacements, says Mike Chappell.

Jerraud Powers says he’s ready, writes Phil Richards.

Breaking down Bengals-Colts with Phillip B. Wilson.

The Colts added Joique Bell, says Wilson.

Brandon James is back, says Wilson.

Clint Session said his injury came with major pain, says Wilson.

Peyton Manning is the glue holding things together, says Michael Marot.

Gary Brackett is dealing with turf toe again, says John Oehser.

Shutdown Corner says Pat Angerer is a Top 10 NFL name.

Joseph Addai talked to 18to88.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Rashean Mathis hopes to line up against Johnson, says Vito Stellino.

The division race is tough and tight, says Tania Ganguli.

Vince Manuwai has overtaken Justin Smiley at left guard, says Ganguli.

Eben Britton’s shoulder surgery was the “Drew Brees special,” says Ganguli.

Tennessee Titans

Randy Moss wants wins, not trouble, says Jim Wyatt.

Joe Biddle assesses the media crush for Moss. (I was not left speechless, for the record.)

The defense knows what Moss can bring, says John Glennon.

A transcript of Moss’ news conference.

Vince Young sat Wednesday out, say Wyatt and Glennon.

A slide show of Moss at practice from George Walker.

Moss was gruff but compliant, says William Rhoden.

The Titans think any Moss distractions will be worth it, says Chris Harry.

Moss intends to be all business, says David Boclair.

Young Titans admit to being star struck by Moss, says Terry McCormick.