(Sports Network) – Who’d have guessed it would all happen in Houston?
The dream collision of unstoppable force and immovable object will apparently be occurring this weekend – sometime on Sunday after 12 p.m. CT – at the 70,000-seat Lone Star laboratory known to the non-scientific set as Reliant Stadium.
There, in an admittedly primitive 11-on-11 setting, the blue-clad control group known as the ‘New York Giants defense’ will be matched up against the white- shirted experimental group labeled as the ‘Houston Texans offense’ in an intermittent 60-minute clinical trial.
And at the end, either Gary Kubiak or Tom Coughlin becomes a 2011 Nobel Prize front-runner.
Anyone switching to NBC last weekend saw Coughlin’s Giants at their havoc- wreaking, ball-stopping best in the swamps of Jersey, battering Jay Cutler and Chicago understudy Todd Collins to the New Meadowlands turf no fewer than 10 times in a 17-3 rout.
Cutler, Collins and the rest of the Bears were snuffed to the tune of just 110 total yards and six first downs overall – including 51 passing yards and only one play beyond 20 yards – as New York leveled its record at 2-2 and remained viable atop a muddled NFC East.
“I have never seen or been a part of anything like this,” said Giants linebacker Jonathan Goff, who recorded 10 tackles and a half-sack. “The line did a great job and we all did a great job of playing together. It was scheme and execution and we put it all together. We played as one.”
On the other coast, the Texans were making do with replacement parts.
Houston escaped the silver and black hole of Oakland with a 31-24 triumph, in which it got 127 rush yards from Steve Slaton/Derrick Ward and saw six players not named Andre Johnson catch at least one pass from Matt Schaub in the absence of the balky-ankled All-Pro receiver.
Even tardy feature back Arian Foster ended up with 131 yards on the ground and another 56 on three catches after emerging from Kubiak’s don’t-be-late-for-a- position-meeting-during-the-week doghouse.
He scored twice and joined Emmitt Smith and Billy Sims as the only players in league history to have at least 500 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards through the first four games of a season.
The Texans lead the league in rushing (172.0 yards per game), are second in total offense (415.5 yards per game) and scored 30 or more points in each of their three wins.
Johnson is expected back this weekend but was listed on Wednesday’s injury report. He originally hurt the ankle two weekends ago and aggravated it in a loss to Dallas on Sept. 26.
Also back in the fold, albeit on the other side, is reigning AFC defensive rookie of the year Brian Cushing, who returned Monday after an offseason suspension for violation of the league’s PED policy.
Houston has been gashed for a league-worst 408 yards per game through four weeks.
“That’s a huge boost because he’s one of our leaders out there,” said Texans rookie Troy Nolan, who started in place of injured safety Eugene Wilson and picked off two Oakland passes. “So when he comes around it’s going to be another step up [for us]. It’s going to be a boost on our team.”