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Quarterback already thinking about new ploys

HOUSTON -- Now that his long locks are gone, David Carr has already started thinking of other ways to motivate the Houston Texans to more victories.

"Maybe I'll grow a beard to win the Super Bowl," Carr joked
Monday from a custom-made barber's chair. "I don't know. I'll come
up with something."

A day after the Texans beat Oakland 30-17 to win consecutive
games for the first time in franchise history, Carr got a trim --
about a 1¼ inches off -- to make good on a promise he made a year ago.

Since beating the Dallas Cowboys in their franchise debut three
seasons ago, the Texans (2-2) never won their next game. The
pursuit became such a big deal that Carr vowed after a loss to
Jacksonville last September he wouldn't cut his hair until it
happened.

At 36 games the Texans needed longer than any
expansion team to win consecutive games. They were 0-for-9 in games
after a win until following a last-second victory at Kansas City
with a strong showing against the Raiders.

And even though his wife had grown to enjoy his meticulously
styled hairdo, a promise is a promise.

So Carr sat down Monday afternoon before about 100 people --
mostly media members, including two local TV stations that were
broadcasting live -- for his long-awaited haircut.

"I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I popped off
about this," Carr said. "We got, what, nine cameras in here for a
haircut? This is ridiculous."

Houston has been starved for a football winner since the Oilers
packed up and left for Tennessee in 1996.

The Texans had modest success in their first two years, winning
nine games, staying competitive against the league's top teams in
others and enjoying patient support from their fans.

But when Houston's curious consecutive wins drought didn't end in the first two games against San Diego and Detroit, there were
concerns.

"A lot of people said we couldn't do it," wide receiver Jabar Gaffney said. "So it feels real good to get that monkey off of our
backs."

The Texans responded with a fourth-quarter rally for a win over
the Chiefs and one of the best showings of their young existence
against the veteran Raiders.

Houston scored its most points, created its most turnovers and
responded well to a loud, disruptive crowd of 70,741 that was its
second largest, quite an impressive feat considering the Houston
Astros were playing their season finale with a playoff spot on the
line at the same time.

"You have to give those guys credit," Raiders safety Ray Buchanan said. "The Texans are no longer just an expansion team."

Carr led the way again, throwing a 15-yard touchdown to Andre Johnson that gave Houston a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and
committing no turnovers. This season, he's completed 65 percent of
his passes for 1,003 yards and four touchdowns with four
interceptions. His quarterback rating of 91.8 ranks 10th in the
league, ahead of established veterans Steve McNair, Jake Plummer
and Drew Bledsoe.

"The last two weeks, David has matured in terms of
understanding game situations and what he has to do in those
situations," Texans coach Dom Capers said.

With just a few seconds remaining before their first winning
streak, the Texans already started plans for their interesting
celebration.

"On the last drive, we talked about shaving his head," center
Steve McKinney said.

But the one holding the scissors Monday was a stylist from a
local beauty shop where Carr and his wife, Melody, get their hair
done together. Carr was taken aback by the media crowd in the
Texans' auditorium.

"If we wouldn't have waited 30-something games to do it, it
wouldn't have been a big deal," Carr said. "A live haircut -- this
is real big. I wish you all could experience this sometime."

Near the end of his 15-minute haircut, though, Carr reconsidered
his promise to grow a beard.

"I'm not that big of a facial hair guy," he said.

Extra points
Carr has a mild sprain in his right foot and probably won't practice until later in the week. Same thing for RB Domanick Davis, who missed the game against Oakland with a sprained right ankle. "I'd say he's doubtful for Wednesday," Capers said. ... SS Eric Brown is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Minnesota. ...Texans kicker Kris Brown's streak of 10 consecutive field goals ended just before halftime after he missed a 57-yarder. ... Jonathan Wells' career-high 105 yards rushing against the
Raiders raised a few eyebrows in the Texans' locker room. "It was
nice to see him get an opportunity to run," guard Zach Wiegert
said. "With Domanick Davis here, its hard to get playing time."