Never underestimate the “Revenge Game” factor.
Indianapolis Colts receiver Andre Johnson entered Thursday night’s tilt with the Houston Texans — the team for which he had played the past 12 years — looking like a shell of himself. In the four weeks with his new team prior to Thursday night, Johnson had caught seven passes for 51 total yards and zero scores. He had gone the previous two weeks without a catch.
Then, on Thursday, the 34-year-old pass catcher caught six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Colts to a 27-20 win.
Following the contest, NFL Media’s Deion Sanders asked Johnson if there was every any doubt in his mind that he could still make plays.
“There was never a doubt,” Johnson said. “Just the transition, going to a new team, playing more in the slot, you know that was different. So just trying to adjust and I knew once I had opportunities I would go out and make the plays, so that’s what I did.”
Despite the early season struggles and age sapping some of his separating speed, Johnson said he was never frustrated with his new team.
“Naw, I was never frustrated,” he said. “I’m serious, I was never frustrated. I just looked at it as a new experience. I just took it all in stride.”
After spending a dozen years in Houston, where he is the franchise leader in receptions (1,012), receiving yards (13,597) and receiving touchdowns (64), Johnson insisted the game wasn’t about revenge.
“A lot of people probably thought this was a ‘get back’ game for me or something like that. It was never like that,” Johnson said later, via the Indy Star. “I just wanted to use my role. I was involved a lot more today and I was able to go out and make the best of my opportunities. That’s the way I looked at it. I just wanted to do what I needed to do to help the team win.”
Perhaps Johnson wasn’t seething to burn his old team, but his two scores sure helped do that anyway.