COVID ravaged Texans fight for win over Chargers

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 12/26/21

“He protected the football and he got us in the endzone and when your quarterback does that good things happen,” Culley said."

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COVID ravaged Texans fight for win over Chargers

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The culture David Culley has preached all season was on full display Sunday.

With over a dozen players on the COVID-19 list and missing the game, the Texans battled and showed grit on Sunday in a game that they we’re a touchdown underdogs heading into.

“We have a next man up mentality,” said Texans head coach David Culley. All those guys, they’ve done a great job and I have to go back to wat our coordinators did. They did such a great job getting our players ready. It’s truly, truly the next man up mentality, those guys were ready and didn’t bat an eye.”

Behind 254 yards passing and two touchdowns from Davis Mills, the Texans secured their fourth win of the season and second straight win over the Los Angeles Chargers at NRG Stadium.

“He protected the football and he got us in the endzone and when your quarterback does that good things happen,” Culley said. Our quarterback was able to execute what we asked him to do and we protected him and also had a good run game. Our offense did a good job today.”

The Chargers struck first on a 50-yard field goal, but the Texans came right back on an eight play, 43-yard drive, capped off with a 25-yard touchdown run by Rex Burkhead to take the lead, a lead.

It seemed as if the Chargers would pull away after that, they kicked a 46-yard field goal and then Justin Jackson scored on a 17-yard touchdown to put things in the Chargers favor. But the Texans would not quit.

After battling through those two scored spanning the first and half of he second quarters, the Texans trimmed the lead with a 51-yard field goal from Dominik Eberle

The Chargers were driving again but Jonathan Owens came up with a huge interception at the Texans goal lien and then after driving the field late in the half Mills threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley to make it 17-12 Texans at half.

The Texans missed a field goal to start the second half and Los Angeles answered back with an 11-play drive capped off by a 35-yard field goal. But the Texans came back with a 13 play, 75-yard drive in which Rex Burkhead ran in a four yard touchdown, making it a 24-15 Texans lead.

Burkhead had his best game of the year and the Texans found success in the run game for one of the only times this year as Burkhead ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns and the Texans totaled 190 yards on the ground.

“We weren’t going to change what we were going to do and we mixed the run in when we had an opportunity to. We also ended up getting some big plays off of that and because of that. It all started with the offensive line and that continuity. They were prepared and had no distractions and disruptions and when you play the game the right way, you get results like this, it doesn’t matter who you play.”

The Texans added a field goal after a Chargers fumble and just when it looked like Los Angeles was going to get back into it, scoring on a 9-yard run from Jackson, the Texans were able to respond again. Miss found Nico Collins for a 14-yard score as the Texans continued to respond to every punch thrown. Tavierre Thomas all but sealed things with a 48-yard interception return, capping off what may have been the Texans best overall game of the season. The Chargers scored another touchdown late in the fourth but it was too little too late as the Texans kneeled their way to the win afterwards.

Houston will travel to San Francisco next week before returning to Houston to close the season against the Titans.

“All of the coordinators did such a great job on all three phases,” Culley said. “It was the most complete game we’ve had this year. They put it together and we finally got a score on defense. I knew it was coming eventually and I almost wish he would have gone down so we could end the game but when he saw that endzone he had to go for it. But the coaches did a great job of preparation in everything we did this week.”

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