The awesome show that is the Houston Texans went to 4-0 after beating the Tennessee Titans 38-14 on Sunday in an AFC South Division clash at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
And they did it with a half a dozen of their usual supporting players taking center stage.
Safety Danieal Manning and cornerback Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns, fullback James Casey and tight end Owen Daniels caught scoring passes, and defensive lineman Antonio Smith and safety Glover Quin had key sacks as the Texans continued to be one of only three remaining undefeated teams.
Of course, Houston’s marquee stars had their usual impact while sharing the stage.
- Quarterback Matt Schaub completed 20 of 28 passes for 202 yards with TD passes of 11 yards to Casey and 28 yards to Daniels.
- Arian Foster carried 24 times for 86 yards and a touchdown on a 4-yard run for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
- Defensive end J.J. Watt created his usual chaos with four solo tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
Titans starting quarterback Jake Locker had only attempted two passes when Quin blitzed, sacking the Titans’ second-year quarterback out of the game with a left shoulder injury. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck took over and completed 17 of 25 passes for 193 yards with 2 TDs and the two passes that Manning and Jackson took back.
It was a 14-7 game after Hasselbeck connected with Craig Stevens on a 19-yard scoring play midway through the second quarter. It stayed that way into the third quarter until Manning changed the game.
He picked off a Hasselbeck pass and wound his way around Titans 55 yards for a 21-7 lead with 9:21 left in the quarter.
The Texans forced a punt and Schaub engineered a 7-play, 75-yard drive culminating in his scoring pass to Daniels and a 28-7 lead.
Smith then sacked Hasselbeck, forcing a fumble that Watt recovered. That led to a 33-yard Shayne Graham field goal and a 31-7 lead with 5:42 left in the quarter.
Five plays later, it was Jackson’s turn, snatching a pass intended for Damian Williams and racing 63 yards for a 38-7 lead.
Tennessee (1-3) actually outgained the Houston, 325-297, and had one more first down. But those are very hollow statistics considering that 79 yards and five first downs came after Jackson’s touchdown as Hasselbeck put together a meaningless 10-play drive for a Kendall Wright TD catch with less than a minute on the clock.
Oh, and not to be forgotten, there was a Chris Johnson sighting. The one-time 2,000-yard rusher, who had more or less disappeared after signing a big contract, more than tripled his season output with 141 yards on 25 carries for the Titans.
With the first quarter of the 2012 season complete, we know that the Houston Texans are as complete and deep a football team as exists in the NFL.
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