All the planets seemed to be aligned for the Houston Texans to finally take charge of the AFC South this season.
Peyton Manning was injured, transforming the Colts from a contender to the worst team in the NFL. The Titans have played on valiantly with 36-year-old Matt Hasselback at quarterback and the ghost of Chris Johnson at running back. The Jaguars cut David Garrard before the season and are now living out the phrase "be careful what you wish for" with Blaine Gabbart under center.
With quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster, wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams, Houston became the popular pick in a dysfunctional division. It was happy times in the Space City.
Then Schaub suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury, backup Matt Leinart broke his collarbone on Sunday, and Houston began considering Kellen Clemens, Brodie Croyle and Trent Edwards.
Of all the rotten luck.
Jeff Garcia, who is so old he's still trying to get a handle on this newfangled "forward pass" concept, is also reportedly a candidate. But at least one ancient signal-caller, future Hall of Famer and quarterback-for-hire Brett Favre, is not among the quarterbacks the Texans are considering.
That didn't stop Sports Illustrated's Peter King from bringing up the idea Sunday on NBC, only to dismiss it.
"I don't want to bring the circus to town," Texans general manager Rick Smith said, according to King.
The Gulfport Gunslinger, for his part, has not thrown a football in a month, King said.
The top candidates appear to be T.J. Yates, Clemens and Croyle, which begs the question: If a team quarterbacked by Favre would be a "circus," what do you call a team quarterbacked by one of those three legends?
"Aw, shucks, Tex'ns, I'm just flattered ya even thought o' me."
Photo via Flickr/mike-sj-123
"I was just having fun and part of that fun ended up being a penalty and a touchdown for the Jets. It was a stupid decision by myself."
— Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson on his touchdown celebration, in which he mimicked being Plaxico Burress and shooting himself in the leg
You're welcome, Doug.
We've always wondered when a brawl becomes a donnybrook. We may have our answer.