Texans survived the Jets 29-22

The good, bad, and ugly from the Texans win over the Jets

J.J. Watt came up big. Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Another game against an opponent the Texans were favored to beat handily, another grind it out win. The Texans survived the Jets 29-22. Here's how I saw things:

The Good

-Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins got back into a rhythm this game, and it started early. Hopkins had five catches for 108 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He ended the game with 10 for 170 and two TDs. The second touchdown was a catch only a handful of receivers could make and put them ahead for good. Hopkins appeared to have hurt his ankle on the play.

-J.J. Watt came up big with two sacks this game. The first ended the Jets opening drive. The second helped end all hope of a Jet comeback. He now has 14.5 sacks on the season. While he won't win another Defensive MVP award, he's a shoe-in for Comeback Player of the Year.

-Kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn went 5 for 5 in the game and saved the team's ass again. He is 29 of 34 on the season and consistently bails out the sputtering offense with long field goals. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: he should get serious consideration for team MVP.

The Bad

-Sam Darnold ate big. He ran for two key first downs and used his legs to create a throwing lane for his first touchdown. He ended the game 24 of 38 for 253 yards and two touchdowns passing with six carries for 35 yards rushing. All of this on a gimpy ankle.

-I saw D.J. Reader drop into coverage in a short hook zone at spy depth. It led to the Jets first touchdown because Reader wasn't athletic enough to make a play on Darnold, or the pass. This is when Romeo Crennel gets too cute. Reader is a 347-pound defensive lineman. He should never drop into coverage! Ever! Let the fat boys do what fat boys do!

-Missed tackles plagued this defense once again. The Jets had several decent runs off missed tackles. Darnold's runs mentioned above came off missed tackles. He also escaped a couple sacks. This will be a problem in the playoffs.

The Ugly

-Watson was sacked six times this game. The first was controversial because he was escaping the sack as the ref blew the whistle and it forced them to kick a field goal. The rest were mainly on him. He likes to extend plays, but fails to get rid of the damn ball! Can't blame the offensive line when the quarterback does dumb stuff.

-Lamar Miller left the game with an ankle injury and didn't return. The run game suffered because of it and it was obvious. The team had 48 yards rushing, with Watson totaling 27 of them. This could be crippling (pun intended) moving forward into the playoffs.

-The defensive backs again showed why that position is a top priority in the offseason. Sharece Wright gives up double move catches like his awareness rating on Madden is a 22 and Jonathan Joseph gives more cushion in coverage than Texas Mattress Makers. Not even going into how bad the others are because it's obvious how bad this unit is.

10-4 with two games left against struggling opponents isn't a bad spot to be in. However, barely scraping by against teams of lesser talent will make for an early playoff exit. This isn't how you bounce back after a disappointing loss. Here's to hoping Miller and Hopkins can come back. Otherwise, this team will lose in the first round. Hell, if they don't play better, they may lose if those two are healthy.

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I met James Arthur Harris a pretty long time ago, it had to be before 2001, because I was at the gate waiting for his flight from New Orleans to land. I was supposed to pick him up, drive him to the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza on Loop 610, wait for him to change into his work clothes, and get him to the George R. Brown before 3 p.m.

I had never met him, but it would be easy to pick him out in the line of passengers filing off the plane. He'd be the big guy, 6 ft. 7 and weighing more than 400 pounds. Because our schedule was tight, I was hoping he wasn't already in his work clothes. You'll understand why.

When Harris worked, he wore a leopard loin cloth, bare feet, bright painted stars and moons on his huge pot belly, and white face paint under his scary witch doctor mask. He also carried a spear and shield.

James Harris, who died this week at age 70 from COVID-19 complications, performed in wrestling rings around the world as Kamala the Ugandan Giant. Or Kamala the Ugandan Head Hunter. This day, he came to Houston to sign autographs at TriStar Sports memorabilia shows.

"Kamala was a huge draw to our shows in the '90s. His character was mysterious and intriguing. Fans lined up to get his autograph and pose for photos with him. He was one of our biggest draws," said Tristar senior vice president Bobby Mintz.

I checked Harris into the Crowne Plaza and waited in the lobby while he went upstairs to take off his shoes and socks, paint stars and moons on his belly … and become Kamala the uncivilized cannibal from the jungles of deepest Africa.

You couldn't get away with this stereotyped character today. But this was then, and Kamala was one of the hottest performers in the wrestling world.

You should have seen the looks on people's faces when the elevator door opened, and out came Kamala, in full ring regalia. We got into my car and made it to the George R. Brown in time for his autograph session. The line already was 100 wrestling fans deep. I sat next to Kamala for three hours, muttering grunts and nonsense sounds because, of course, Kamala did not speak English.

James Harris was born and died in Mississippi. He broke into pro wrestling in 1978 under the name Sugar Bear Harris. He also wrestled as Ugly Bear Harris, The Mississippi Mauler and Bad News Harris.

It was Jerry Lawler, owner of Memphis independent wrestling scene in the early '80s, who gave Harris his new gimmick and name Kamala. He would be billed as Kamala the Ugandan Giant, former bodyguard to the brutal dictator Idi Amin. Lawler picked the name Kamala after the capital of Uganda. Actually, the capital of Uganda is Kampala. It doesn't matter.

Kamala was money, as they say, he put butts in seats. He used a devastating karate chop to opponents' heads and pinned them, 1-2-3. Soon he was hired by Mid-South Wrestling, where the circuit included the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston. In 1986, he became a main event wrestler for the WWE and headlined shows against Hulk Hogan coast-to-coast.

As we sat at the autograph show, one of my jobs was to assure young fans that Kamala was really a nice person, so don't be scared.

That night, I threw my one and only dinner party. I invited about 20 people to meet Kamala. I prepared a casual buffet, the main course was lasagna. I had two large trays, one with vegetable lasagna, one with sausage and ground beef.

The guests showed up, and Kamala posed for photos and signed autographs. He let my friends wear his witch doctor mask. He hoisted some of the guests and pretended he was body slamming them for their photos. He was the most gracious and gentle giant you could imagine. Until …

I was taking the lasagna trays out of the oven. I brought Kamala into the kitchen so he could eat first, and return to mingle with the guests. I asked him, which would you like, vegetable or meat lasagna? He said meat, and picked up the entire tray, sat at the kitchen table and ate the whole thing. I told the other guests, eat lots of garlic bread.

Kamala retired from wrestling full-time around 2000. He bought a truck and hauled gravel, asphalt and dirt from Mississippi across the southern U.S. If he knew a town had an independent wrestling show, he'd re-route his route so he could pick up extra money dusting off his Kamala persona for one night. That's how he made an appearance at the Texas All-Star Wrestling show in Humble in 2003.

Kamala fell into bad health with diabetes and high blood pressure. He had both legs amputated. Despite headlining wrestling shows around the world, Kamala never earned much money. In his later years, he made wood chairs near his home in Oxford, Mississippi. He also recorded an album, Kamala's Greatest Hits: Vol. 1, and wrote his autobiography, Kamala Speaks.

After the dinner party, which did not make Maxine Mesinger's society column in the Chronicle, something I'm still bitter about, I drove Kamala back to the Crowne Plaza. I told him, be in the lobby at 9 a.m., we'll get breakfast on our way to the airport. I asked him, what would you like for breakfast. Pancakes? Bacon and eggs? Fruit?

He said, and I'll never forget this, "When it comes to food, I isn't choicy."

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