Looking a gift horse in the mouth
Cortland Finnegan accuses Texans of trying to embarrass Titans with two-pointconversion attempt
Oprah gives away less impressive gifts than the Houston Texans. The AFC South champs effectively gifted their division rival Tennessee Titans a potential playoff berth on Sunday.
The Texans didn't play Pro Bowl tailback Arian Foster, Pro Bowl cornerback Johnathan Joseph, and top tight end Owen Daniels at all — and they pulled starting quarterback T.J. Yates after an injury scare on the first series. By the fourth quarter, Houston coach Gary Kubiak had an offensive player moonlighting on defense.
You'd think a team would appreciate such a monumental gift. But Cortland Finnegan wants to kick the gift horse in the mouth.
Despite all that, the Titans still almost blew the game. Kubiak had to try for a two-point conversion attempt with 19 seconds left, and then try again when a penalty blew the first play dead, to prevent his team from taking Tennessee into overtime.
Only then, could the Titans exhale as 23-22 winners. You'd think a team would appreciate such a monumental gift. Not Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan. In fact, Finnegan wants to kick the gift horse in the mouth.
Finnegan feels that the Texans were trying to embarrass the Titans by going for two points when kicking an extra point would have meant overtime. He didn't appreciate all those backups playing either. That's another attempt to embarrass his team in Finnegan's world.
"I think they wanted to show that no matter who they put on the field, they want to embarrass us and beat us," Finnegan said. "And we ended up winning."
When asked if he was surprised the Texans went for two rather than playing for overtime, Finnegan didn't hesitate.
"Not all," he said. "I'm definitely not surprised at the Houston Texans."
Did Finnegan take too many hits from Andre Johnson last year?
Remember, this is the combative cornerback who Johnson pummeled in a 2010 fight that drew both players matching $25,000 fines. Finnegan's long hated the Texans (and the feeling's pretty mutual). Now, he's offended (again) and he could be heading back to Reliant Stadium next weekend for a playoff rematch against a 10-6 Texans team that will not be handing out any more gifts. The Texans beat Tennessee 41-7 in October (of course that was with Matt Schaub playing quarterback).
To Texans coach Gary Kubiak, the decision to go for two Sunday was much simpler than any cornerback-dreamed-up conspiracies.
"You would never go for two there in any other situation, but where we were physically today," Kubiak said. "At the end of the game, I had a tight end (Garrett Graham) playing SAM linebacker. For our football team, I had to get them to next week."
Titans running back Chris Johnson didn't have an issue with the Texans' decisions either. Instead, he took umbrage with the way his own team played.
"I can't say I like the way we're playing right now because we were playing against second teamers and things like that and it was still tough to get the victory," Johnson said. "I feel this is a game we should have scored more points in.
"It should not have been as hard to get a victory."