Fair Warning

The monster Andre Johnson is back: Giant numbers vs. Jaguars cause widespread NFL alarm

The monster Andre Johnson is back: Giant numbers vs. Jaguars cause widespread NFL alarm

Andre Johnson Jaguars
Andre Johnson hauls in one of his seven first half catches. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com

Three plays into the Houston Texans' Sunday afternoon, Andre Johnson had 74 yards.

To say that the Jacksonville Jaguars' coverage plan was not working is like saying that Twilight fans can get a little worked up.

Playing Andre Johnson one-on-one is beyond flirting with disaster. It downright guarantees it. That applied to a 23-year-old Johnson. And it still applies now that he's 31 and in his 10th NFL season.

Even putting two guys on Johnson isn't a sure defense. He beat a corner and a safety on the third play of the game — a 45-yarder in which quarterback Matt Schaub couldn't have led him any better.

 Playing Andre Johnson one-on-one is beyond flirting with disaster. It downright guarantees it.  

Johnson has been saying for weeks that he's been feeling better and better, that his ability to practice consistently again is making all the difference. He tried to warn the rest of the NFL.

The old monster is back.

On a day when the Texans would need more firepower than anyone expected, a day when Jaguars backup quarterback Chad Henne found holes in Wade Phillips' secondary, Johnson showed just how dominant he can still be, racking up 132 yards by halftime. That's more yards than he gained in any entire game the first nine games of this season.

Johnson did all the heavy lifting on that opening touchdown drive, pulled off an important catch on the Texans' second touchdown drive and started Houston's last scoring drive of the half with a 23-yard reception, ensuring the Texans at least got a field goal. He'd have seven catches by halftime, with every one of them needed in a surprising 17-17 game.

The Jaguars simply couldn't cover him. Welcome to the club.

Surprise, Surprise

The Texans opened the game in a four wide receiver set, starting Lestar Jean and Keshawn Martin along with Johnson and Kevin Walter. Houston would pass on its first three plays of the game, catching the run-fearing Jaguars off guard.

All those throws went to Johnson. A 7-yard slant on right sideline. A 22-yard strike down the middle. And that perfectly-placed 45-yard bomb.

Schaub completed all four of his passes on the opening drive overall, accounting for 83 of the 84 yards on an 185-second offensive blitz.

Jacksonville was down 7-0 — and still trying to catch its breath. They'd do that, but corralling Andre Johnson would prove to be much more difficult.