On June 18, 2014, T.J. Yates' Houston Texans career seemed over after getting traded to the Atlanta Falcons. On September 4 of this year, when the Falcons dropped him from the roster during the final round of cuts, his NFL career was very much in doubt.
But for Monday night's inspiring performance, coming off the bench to replaced a concussed Brian Hoyer to give the Cincinnati Bengals their first loss of the season, Yates might have Ryan Mallett to thank.
The 27-year-old quarterback who entered the season as one of the guys competing for the starting job infamously missed the team plane before the Texans' game on Oct. 25, shortly after being benched. Two days later, he was cut -- and Yates was signed back on after spending the first two months of the season on his couch.
His chance finally came on Monday, in his first appearance for Houston since Oct. 13, 2013. Yates entered the game in the third quarter, trailing the Bengals 6-3. What happened next almost felt like déjà vu.
Yates beat the Bengals twice as the starter during the 2011 season -- one coming in the postseason for the franchise's first ever playoff win.
DeAndre Hopkins came down with the deep ball in the end zone with 14:20 left in the final period. Houston would hold on for its fourth win.
"It's a little nostalgic," Yates said after throwing the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. "I have a lot of good memories in Cincinnati."
Now 8-1, the Bengals next face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night. The Texans, surging back into the playoff conversation at 4-5, take on the New York Jets.
And with the way Houston quarterbacks have played this season, Yates might just get another shot next week, even if Hoyer is ready to go.
Texans 10, Bengals 6
Check out the best photos from Week 10:
NFL week 10 best photos
Morning Rewind, 11/17: T.J. Yates is the man in Houston
New York Giants tight end Jerome Cunningham (86) stiff-arms New England Patriots' Jonathan Freeny (55) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Gary Hershorn)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West (35) can't hold onto the ball as Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray (56) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) loses the ball as he is sacked by New England Patriots' Eric Martin (53) and Robert Ayers (91) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Detroit Lions' Quandre Diggs breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. The Lions won 18-16. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (18) makes a catch in the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 30-9. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams (87) is tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Sergio Brown while rushing the ball in the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Cleveland Browns cornerback Tramon Williams (22) spins away from Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay (22) after being hit in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) is tackled by the face mask by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats (55) in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh. Moats was penalized on the play. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr (39) knocks a pass away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, left, breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in the end zone during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
Miami Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill (17) is hit in the end zone by Philadelphia Eagles' Walter Thurmond (26) for a safety during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 15: Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots breaks up a pass intended for Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 15, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 15: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Caraun Reid #97 of the Detroit Lions in the first quarter at Lambeau Field on November 15, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is helped up to his feet by teammate Louis Vasquez (65) and Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91)after a sack during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is tackled short of the goal line by Tennessee Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)