Johnson looking for new level to help Houston
Andre Johnson told a teammate two weeks ago that his goal was to
play the five best games of his career to help end Houston’s season
on a high note.
He came just shy of a career high last week against Seattle and
has 292 yards receiving and three touchdowns since his
Now, the NFL’s leading receiver gets to face the lowly Rams
(1-12) as the Texans (6-7) look for their second straight win.
“You just try to make the best of your opportunities,” Johnson
said. “I was given a lot of opportunities on Sunday and I was able
to make a lot of plays to help the team win the game. But I’m just
going to do the same thing. I have the same mentality and I’m just
going to go out and give everything I’ve got for my teammates and
Johnson has 1,237 yards receiving and eight touchdowns this
season and with three games left, outdoing the career-high 1,575
yards he gained last season is well within reach. He said a new
personal high is not his focus.
“I never set any goals for myself this season, my biggest thing
was just trying to get this organization to its first playoff
berth,” he said. “That’s all I’m worried about and that’s
something I’m going to continue to worry about until it
Johnson is averaging a career-best 15.3 yards a catch and needs
just one touchdown to set a career high.
He had 184 of his 193 yards receiving against the Seahawks by
halftime. With the game in hand by the third quarter, Houston ran
the ball to eat up the clock. But with Johnson needing just two
receptions and 15 yards to set career highs in receptions (12) and
yards receiving (207), the Texans threw two passes his way in the
fourth quarter. They both fell incomplete.
“He’s a very unselfish kid. I’ve been in this league a long
time and I know a lot of players that would have been screaming for
me to find a way to get them two more catches and 15 more yards,”
coach Gary Kubiak said. “When I told him I wanted to do that, he
told me it wasn’t important so that tells you what he’s all
Johnson didn’t care if he caught any more passes once the game
was decided, but he was impressed that Kubiak wanted to give him a
chance to set career marks.
He isn’t worried about getting 11 catches again this week, but
he does think starting fast again is the key to success. He caught
a 64-yard touchdown pass on the first play against Seattle.
“If you could have been on the sideline, the energy level of
the team was just up so high and guys feed off that,” he said.
“When something like that happens everybody wants to go out and do
something that catches somebody’s eye.”
Houston is hoping to take advantage of the one-win Rams to get
back to .500 and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They know
better than overlooking the Rams after a struggling Oakland team
beat them 27-16 late last season.
The Texans were 7-7 entering that game and the Raiders were
3-11. The Texans have been reminded of that stinging loss this
“You can’t look past anybody,” Johnson said. “You still have
to go out and do what you have to do and execute. If you don’t go
out there and do that you’re going to end up on the losing end and
that’s something that we don’t want to happen.”