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Houston Texans vs. NY Giants Gameday Thread


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Houston Texans perspective on the game from FOX Sports:


Team Report: Inside Slant


Sure, coach Gary Kubiak could have replaced David Carr with Sage Rosenfels. If the last game was all that mattered, Rosenfels deserves the start. But Kubiak didn't even hesitate. He didn't take an hour to think about it after the game. He didn't take a few days to evaluate.


Ten minutes after Rosenfels passed for three touchdowns and almost led the Texans to a comeback victory over the Tennessee Titans, Kubiak announced Carr would remain the starting quarterback when the Texans travel to play the New York Giants on Sunday.

It was a perfect tactic. He sent a clear message to Carr by benching him for the second half after three turnovers, yet he also made it abundantly clear that he still has confidence in Carr. He also never allowed the locker room to split. He didn't allow players to start believing Rosenfels was going to be "the man." In turn, the players rallied around Carr, right after the game and throughout the next week of preparations.


"First of all, not all the mistakes that are being blamed on him are his fault," tight end Mark Bruener said. "A lot of us made some mistakes that hurt us.


"You know, I'm sure this is tough for Dave, but we know what kind of player he is and how competitive he is, and I'm sure he's going to come back very determined to play well."


Bruener doesn't expect big changes from the starter.


"If he were to go in the tank and change his approach and not exude confidence, then we might be on the fence. But we're not," Bruener said. "We believe in David."


The key for Kubiak now is to see how Carr reacts. He has listened to Carr's comments and he's watched him in practice, but it'll be different when the pressure rises on Sunday and Carr must remain poised.


"(Carr's) response is very important," Kubiak said. "It's very important to our future how he comes out of this. I know it's his first time, but there aren't many quarterbacks that haven't been through this.


"It doesn't matter whether you're coaching or playing, you're going to go through some hard times, and how you battle through those times usually has a lot to do with what the future holds.


"For our team, it's important that he battles his tail off this week and plays good football."


It doesn't make things easier for Carr that he must rebound against the Giants' defense, which ranks 14th in total defense. They have created havoc for opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks, and will be looking to take advantage of Carr if he looks vulnerable.


SERIES HISTORY: 2nd meeting. The Texans lead the series 1-0. The Texans and Giants meet for the first time in four years. Houston won the previous meeting 16-14 at Reliant Stadium on Nov. 24, 2002. Houston's defense picked off Kerry Collins twice in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.


LINK - Houston Texans Team Report

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NY Giants perspective on the game from FOX Sports:


Team Report: Inside Slant


Seven games into the season, there's no doubting Plaxico Burress is once again an integral part of the 5-2 Giants passing offense. The question is whether he can keep what had been some volatile emotions from interfering with his effectiveness.


So far, he's managed to do that well. He has 31 catches, slightly below the 36 he had at this point last year. But he is catching more important balls as Eli Manning's go-to receiver. A twisting catch in overtime finished the miracle comeback in Philadelphia. A 50-yarder two weeks ago in Dallas gave the Giants an early lead. And last week's power forward style, one-handed grab over Ronde Barber gave the Giants another early lead over Tampa Bay.

All of those, of course, went for touchdowns. He has two others to lead the team with five heading into this week's game against a non-descript Texans secondary. But the biggest asset Burress brings to the table this year is a changed attitude.


He's making every attempt to stay on the good side of his quarterback. Gone is the arm-flapping show of frustration that marked the Giants' 23-0 playoff loss to Carolina. He's eliminated the sulking from his game, and it appears to be paying off. Manning, now on the same page as his receiver, has looked for Burress for virtually every important throw since the bye week. And when those throws sail off-target, but in reach of Burress, the wide receiver has responded with acrobatic catches over bewildered cornerbacks.


He's tied for ninth in scoring among NFC non-kickers, and should be a huge target this week against a Houston team that ranks 26th in pass defense and 28th in overall defense. The Texans have allowed an average of 224.1 passing yards per game and have given up 12 passing touchdowns. They're basically a team of no-names who came into the season with few expectations and have failed to disappoint.


Left cornerback Dunta Robinson and right cornerback Lewis Sanders will get a full diet of Burress. Neither has an interception. In fact, the Texans only have one pick on the season, that by free safety Jason Simmons. So one can easily see how vulnerable the defensive backfield is.


Of course, Manning will need the time to get the ball downfield. Luke Petitgout, who has done a strong job against the pass rush, will have to neutralize the Texans' major pass rush threat in first-round rookie Mario Williams, who has 3 1/2 sacks.


The Giants defense could turn into the story again, however. After a rocky start in the 1-2 pre-bye period, the secondary has tightened its coverage and the pass rush, despite missing LaVar Arrington and Osi Umenyiora to injuries, has generated good pressure with a minimum of blitzing. Tim Lewis brought strong safety Gibril Wilson only a couple of times against Tampa Bay last week, but it was plenty to shake up rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.


The pass rush has generated 18 sacks in the last four games, mostly from the front four. Mathias Kiwanuka, the first-round defensive end, has been impressive of late in filling in while Umenyiora's strained hip flexor heals. He made his first sack against Tampa Bay in his first career start. Better than that, he also played the run well the few times the Bucs did hand off.


That will come in handy when the Texans try to run Wali Lundy, their leading rusher with 226 yards and a touchdown on 54 carries.


The secondary didn't make an interception, but it was playing without starting right cornerback Sam Madison. His sore hamstring might allow him to play this week. It won't be a moment too soon, as the Texans sport Andre Johnson, the league's leading receiver with 56 catches for 669 yards and four touchdowns.


The Giants will have to remain focused if they don't want to fall into this trap. The 7-0 Bears come in next week, but the Giants insist the bad taste of the first three games will only serve to harden their focus on the generally inept Texans.


SERIES HISTORY: 2nd meeting. The Giants have faced the Texans once since Houston came into the league, in the Texans' inaugural season of 2002. The Giants lost that one 16-14 at Reliant Stadium, in their first trip to Houston since they played the Oilers there in 1994. The game was the first of two AFC trap games the Giants lost before resuming their winning ways against Washington in a 10-6 playoff season. The loss dropped them to 6-5 and went as the third of four victories the Texans would notch that season. The Giants had led that game 14-13 in the fourth quarter before Kris Brown's 50-yard field goal with 6:57 remaining gave the Texans the lead. The Giants had a last chance to win it, with 22 seconds left. Despite a throw to Jeremy Shockey for 24 yards that put them close to midfield, there was only time for one more play. A desperation heave by Kerry Collins to the end zone fell incomplete as the clock ran out.


LINK - NY Giants Team Report

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Well I found a place in Fort Lauderdale to go watch the game. :rock: Really nice out today, but still windy. Atleast the sun is out. Oh well I have til Friday to go out on the beach. Next week is going to be really fun. Of course take it one game at a time.



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