|Houston's Johnson breaks out of slump|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 20 October 2008 12:17|
He's done it by playing three of his best games in six years in the NFL.
Johnson started the season strong with 10 receptions for 112 yards in the opener, but struggled in the next two games and had a combined 67 yards.
Since then he's had 131 yards against Indianapolis, a career-high 178 yards against Miami and 141 yards in Sunday's win over the Lions. He's had 30 receptions and scored two touchdowns in that span.
His 450 yards receiving are the most by a receiver in the league this month, with the next closest player more than 100 yards behind him. The most yards he'd amassed in a month in his career before this stretch was when he gained 432 in December, but that was in five games.
Johnson isn't sure if this is the best he's played in his career, but he does attribute his success to a change in attitude.
on,'' he said. ``You know I told myself right before the Indy game I was like, 'no matter what happens I'm going to put everything behind me and I'm just going to start going back out there having fun and whenever I get an opportunity just make a play on it.' That has been my attitude since then and it's working out well for me.''
Johnson's resurgence is a big reason the Texans have won two straight after opening the season 0-4.
``He is the heart and soul of this place,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``He's a special player in the NFL and when he makes plays and plays at that level of play, then he raises everybody else.''
Of course, his stellar play has also helped quarterback Matt Schaub. In the two games that Johnson struggled, Schaub averaged 248 yards passing. In the past two games, he's averaged 323 yards. He missed Houston's fourth game with a virus.
``He gives us a huge spark as a team because we know that if we can get the ball in his hands so many times he's going to make some big plays for us and make people miss and be able to turn a 5-yard completion into a 15-, 20-yard gain,'' Schaub said. ``No matter what the route is, I can go his way and he is going to secure the catch and then do something with it after the catch.''
e pair have encouraged Johnson to be a smarter and more patient player.
``I just try to see everything on the field and when I'm running routes, I try to pick my spots,'' Johnson said. ``Just every opportunity I'm given I just try to make plays on them.''
The Texans have been moving Johnson around more in the past few weeks and Kubiak believes that has been important to his success.
``When you have a guy that's as productive as he is right now in this league, there's a lot of good coaches in this league and they'll find a way to shut him down,'' Kubiak said. ``When you can move a guy a lot like we do, when your player can keep up from that standpoint and do a lot of things, then it is tough to take him away.''
Notes: Andre' Davis was scheduled to have surgery on his left ring finger Monday afternoon, but Kubiak said he could still play this week. ... Kubiak said CB Dunta Robinson played a bit more than they had planned, but was feeling fine on Monday. He had been out for almost a year after suffering serious knee and hamstring injuries.