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Texans Top Titans, Improve to 4-0

Updated: Sunday, September 30 2012, 09:53 PM CDT
The Texans have always been known for their prolific offense under Gary Kubiak. Now, Houston has a defense capable of making just as many plays, and the formula has the team off to its best start ever.

Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Matt Schaub threw two TD passes in Houston's 38-14 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Arian Foster also had a touchdown run for Houston (4-0). Even though the Texans were outgained 325-297 by the Titans (1-3), they broke open a close game after halftime.

"We really played great defense, the whole second half," Kubiak said. "The defensive play in the second was what got us going, the big play."

Houston's offense ranked among the NFL's top-5 from 2007-11, but the team didn't win its first division title until after Wade Phillips became the defensive coordinator before last season.

The Texans ranked second in total defense coming into Sunday's game, and came out hitting.

Titans quarterback Jake Locker left in the first quarter and didn't return after hurting his left, non-throwing shoulder on a hit by Glover Quin. Locker hurt the same shoulder in the season opener against New England.

Matt Hasselbeck threw two touchdown passes in relief of Locker. Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said Locker was "sore" and would undergo an MRI exam Monday.

Chris Johnson carried 25 times for 141 yards, more than tripling his rushing total through the first three games.

"It was a pretty good game," Johnson said. "We ran the ball. I felt like my offensive line went out there and did a great job from the first snap, just getting up on guys, pushing those guys back, and just giving me somewhere to run."

The Texans led 14-7 at halftime, but their offense bogged down for a while after that. Houston mustered only two first downs in the second quarter, and went three-and-out on the first series of the third quarter.

Leave it to Houston's defense to get the Texans going again.

Hasselbeck threw behind tight end Taylor Thompson, and the ball ricocheted to Manning, who weaved 55 yards for a touchdown. Manning's play not only reignited the restless fans at Reliant Stadium, it also seemed to wake up the offense.

"It's a nice luxury to have, when you see them make those turnovers," Schaub said. "It creates such a lift for us."

The Texans went without a huddle and breezed down the field in just over two minutes. Foster broke a 16-yard run, and Schaub threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to tight end Owen Daniels.

Down 28-7, the Titans were forced to throw more despite Johnson's best game of the season. Johnson came in with only 45 yards rushing on 33 carries through the first three games.

Hasselbeck fumbled when he was hit by Antonio Smith in the fourth quarter, and J.J. Watt recovered at the Tennessee 24. Shayne Graham kicked a 33-yard field goal with 5:38 left.

Tennessee crossed midfield, and Jackson intercepted Hasselbeck and raced untouched to the end zone, high-stepping the last 10 yards.

Hasselbeck threw a short TD pass to Wright in the final minute. He finished 17 of 25 for 193 yards.

"It's frustrating because I feel like we're not that far away," Hasselbeck said. "But we didn't play great and we had turnovers and I was a part of three of them. It's just frustrating because I know we're capable of a lot more."

The Texans led 7-0 when Locker was hurt on the Titans' second series. On third down, Quin blitzed and plowed into Locker for his first career sack. Locker immediately grabbed his left hand and arm as he was down on the turf. He walked to the locker room on his own, and later returned in street clothes, his left arm in a sling.

Houston took over near midfield and converted a fourth-and-1 from the Tennessee 38. Foster scored on a 4-yard run.

Hasselbeck, in his first action since the opener, threw a 25-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook. The Texans smothered Johnson for a 6-yard loss to force another punt for Tennessee.

Johnson later broke a 19-yard run and the Titans' offense showed some life with Hasselbeck taking the snaps. Hasselbeck found fullback Craig Stevens for a 19-yard touchdown with 7:52 left in the first half.

Johnson limped off the field late in the first half, after he was tackled by linebackers Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin. He returned for the Titans' first series of the third quarter.

Notes: Watt has 7 1/2 sacks this season. ... The Texans topped 30 points for the third time in four games. ... Graham reached 1,000 career points. ... Texans RG Antoine Caldwell left in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle. ... Titans LB Patrick Bailey, a special-teams player, injured his left hand and stayed in the game. Munchak said he would be re-evaluated on Monday. ... Johnson earned his 29th career 100-yard game.Texans Top Titans, Improve to 4-0


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Scores & Schedules

August 29, 2014 09:13 GMT

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Detroit 3 N-Y Yankees 2

Baltimore 5 Tampa Bay 4

Cleveland 3 Chi White Sox 2

Minnesota 11 Kansas City 5, 10 Innings

Houston 4 Texas 2

L.A. Angels 4 Oakland 3, 10 Innings

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cincinnati 7 Chi Cubs 2

San Francisco 4 Colorado 1

Atlanta 6 N-Y Mets 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE Friday's Games

Minnesota (May 0-3) at Baltimore (Mi.Gonzalez 6-7), 7:05 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees (Capuano 1-3) at Toronto (Buehrle 11-8), 7:07 p.m.

Boston (Ranaudo 2-0) at Tampa Bay (Archer 8-6), 7:10 p.m.

Cleveland (Salazar 4-6) at Kansas City (J.Vargas 10-6), 8:10 p.m.

Detroit (Verlander 11-11) at Chicago White Sox (Carroll 5-8), 8:10 p.m.

Texas (Undecided) at Houston (Oberholtzer 4-9), 8:10 p.m.

Oakland (Lester 13-8) at L.A. Angels (Weaver 14-7), 10:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE Friday's Games

Cincinnati (Leake 10-11) at Pittsburgh (Volquez 11-7), 7:05 p.m.

Philadelphia (D.Buchanan 6-7) at N.Y. Mets (deGrom 6-6), 7:10 p.m.

Miami (Koehler 9-9) at Atlanta (E.Santana 13-7), 7:35 p.m.

Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 5-1) at St. Louis (S.Miller 8-9), 8:15 p.m.

Colorado (Bergman 1-2) at Arizona (Collmenter 9-7), 9:40 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (Haren 11-10) at San Diego (Cashner 2-6), 10:10 p.m.

Milwaukee (W.Peralta 15-8) at San Francisco (Vogelsong 7-9), 10:15 p.m.

INTERLEAGUE

Washington (Zimmermann 9-5) at Seattle (F.Hernandez 13-4), 10:10 p.m.

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PRESEASON

Atlanta 24 Jacksonville 14

Detroit 23 Buffalo 0

Cincinnati 35 Indianapolis 7

Green Bay 34 Kansas City 14

Philadelphia 37 N-Y Jets 7

Miami 14 St. Louis 13

Carolina 10 Pittsburgh 0

N-Y Giants 16 New England 13

Washington 24 Tampa Bay 10

Baltimore 22 New Orleans 13

Cleveland 33 Chicago 13

Denver 27 Dallas 3

Minnesota 19 Tennessee 3

San Francisco 40 Houston 13

San Diego 12 Arizona 9

Oakland 41 Seattle 31

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

(21) Texas A-and-M 52 ( 9) South Carolina 28

(18) Mississippi 35 Boise State 13

(19) Arizona State 45 Weber State 14

Friday's Game

No. 8 Michigan State vs. Jacksonville State, 7:30 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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