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Texans QB finally makes the cut - haircut, that is

HOUSTON (AP) - Now that his long locks are gone, David Carr has already started thinking of other ways to motivate the Houston Texans to more victories.

"Maybe I'll grow a beard to win the Super Bowl," Carr joked Monday from a custom-made barber's chair. "I don't know. I'll come up with something."

A day after the Texans beat Oakland 30-17 to win consecutive games for the first time in franchise history, Carr got a trim - about a 1\ inches off - to make good on a promise he made a year ago.

Since beating the Dallas Cowboys in their franchise debut three seasons ago, the Texans (2-2) never won their next game. The pursuit became such a big deal that Carr vowed after a loss to Jacksonville last September he wouldn't cut his hair until it happened.

At 36 games, or 2 seasons, the Texans needed longer than any expansion team to win consecutive games. They were 0-for-9 in games after a win until following a last-second victory at Kansas City with a strong showing against the Raiders.

And even though his wife had grown to enjoy his meticulously styled hairdo, a promise is a promise.

So Carr sat down Monday afternoon before about 100 people - mostly media members, including two local TV stations that were broadcasting live - for his long-awaited haircut.

"I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I popped off about this," Carr said. "We got, what, nine cameras in here for a haircut? This is ridiculous."

Houston has been starved for a football winner since the Oilers packed up and left for Tennessee in 1996.

The Texans had modest success in their first two years, winning nine games, staying competitive against the league's top teams in others and enjoying patient support from their fans.

But when Houston's curious consecutive wins drought didn't end in the first two games against San Diego and Detroit, there were concerns.

"A lot of people said we couldn't do it," wide receiver Jabar Gaffney said. "So it feels real good to get that monkey off of our backs."

The Texans responded with a fourth-quarter rally for a win over the Chiefs and one of the best showings of their young existence against the veteran Raiders.

Houston scored its most points, created its most turnovers and responded well to a loud, disruptive crowd of 70,741 that was its second largest, quite an impressive feat considering the Houston Astros were playing their season finale with a playoff spot on the line at the same time.

"You have to give those guys credit," Raiders safety Ray Buchanan said. "The Texans are no longer just an expansion team."

Carr led the way again, throwing a 15-yard touchdown to Andre Johnson that gave Houston a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and committing no turnovers. This season, he's completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,003 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions. His quarterback rating of 91.8 ranks 10th in the league, ahead of established veterans Steve McNair, Jake Plummer and Drew Bledsoe.

"The last two weeks, David has matured in terms of understanding game situations and what he has to do in those situations," Texans coach Dom Capers said.

With just a few seconds remaining before their first winning streak, the Texans already started plans for their interesting celebration.

"On the last drive, we talked about shaving his head," center Steve McKinney said.

But the one holding the scissors Monday was a stylist from a local beauty shop where Carr and his wife, Melody, get their hair done together. Carr was taken aback by the media crowd in the Texans' auditorium.

"If we wouldn't have waited 30-something games to do it, it wouldn't have been a big deal," Carr said. "A live haircut - this is real big. I wish you all could experience this sometime."

Near the end of his 15-minute haircut, though, Carr reconsidered his promise to grow a beard.

"I'm not that big of a facial hair guy," he said.

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