Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November. It was an incredible month for Johnson, who led the AFC in receptions with 35, receiving yards and yards from scrimmage with 614 in four November games. He had three 100-yard receiving games in the month, including a franchise record and career-best 14 catches for 273 yards in Week 11 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That included the game winning 48 yard walk-off touchdown on a wide receiver screen in overtime.
Johnson followed up that game with another magnificent performance four days later on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions. He had nine grabs for 188 yards, setting a new NFL record for receiving yards in consecutive games with 461 yards. In the first November game in Week 9, Johnson had eight catches for 118 yards against the Buffalo Bills. The only game in November in which Johnson did not reach 100 yards receiving or have at least eight catches was the week 10 Sunday night game at the Chicago Bears, which was played in the wind and rain at Soldier Field.
The award is the second career Offensive Player of the Month honor for Johnson, who previously won it in October 2008. His big November vaulted him to sixth in the league in receptions with 69 and third in yards with 1,058. With five games remaining, he has already reached 1,000 receiving yards for the sixth time in his ten-year career. He is also on pace for his third 1,500-yard season, which would tie him for second behind only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who had four 1,500-yard seasons and is considered the greatest wide receiver in NFL history.
Johnson’s November performance just reinforced the fact that he is still a big-time, big-play receiver. The Texans needed all of his big plays the last two weeks, as they had to battle to come from behind and win consecutive overtime contests. While the defense struggled, the Matt Schaub-to-Johnson combo enabled Houston to overcome double-digit second half deficits in both games. When the Texans needed a play the most, there was Johnson making a third down catch, catching the ball in traffic, or drawing the coverage away and opening the middle of the field for Houston’s tight ends.
As the Texans enter the home stretch of the season, their offense has kicked it into high gear. Although Gary Kubiak would prefer not to get into shootouts and throw the ball 40-plus times, the offense has shown they are capable if needed. They are now ranked third in the NFL in total offense, second in scoring offense, and tenth in passing offense. Their surge has been led by non other than Johnson, who will get his second foray into the post-season in January after missing out his first eight seasons. Despite an injury filled campaign last season, he made his presence felt his first time on the big stage. In two games, he had 13 receptions for 201 yards and a touchdown. If he keeps his November play up his postseason will be even better this season, and the Texans will be a tough out in the playoffs once again.