After a rough start and trailing by as many as three touchdowns, the Texans pulled off a thrilling 31-28 comeback victory, complete with a Brian Cushing pick-six, a fake punt, and 41-yard field goal as time expired.
In the Monday night season opener at San Diego, Matt Schaub finished with 346 passing yards, three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 110.0.
Andre Johnson topped the receiving corps with 146 yards on 12 receptions. The Houston tight ends came up big with three touchdowns, two to Owen Daniels and one to Garrett Graham.
Arian Foster, who did not play in the preseason, led in rushing with 57 yards on 18 carries and had six receptions for 33 yards. Ben Tate carried the ball nine times for 55 yards.
The rough start began on the very first play of the game, when Schaub’s pass intended for Daniels was deflected and intercepted. Philip Rivers found the endzone on the very next play, connecting with Ryan Mathews on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Despite the return of Foster, Houston’s offense would remain scoreless until their third drive of the game when Daniels caught the first of his two touchdowns. A one-yard pass from Schaub tied the score at 7-7 with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter.
The Chargers regained the lead with a six-yard pass from Rivers to Eddie Royal. San Diego continued to roll, scoring 21 unanswered points.
With 4:57 remaining in the third quarter, the Texans orchestrated their comeback. Schaub connected with Graham for a touchdown on a seven-yard pass up the middle, cutting the Chargers’ lead to two scores, 28-14.
Daniels caught his second score of the night, a 9-yard pass from Schaub with 14:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Cushing, on the heels of signing a six-year contract extension, came up big with the pick-six on an 18-yard interception, tying the score at 28. It was the eighth interception and first touchdown of Cushing's career.
Randy Bullock, who missed a 51-yard field goal earlier in the game, connected on a 41-yarder as time expired to give the Texans the 31-28 triumph. The game-winning field goal was Bullock's first successful kick in the NFL.
It was the Texans' first-ever victory over San Diego. Next week, they'll face the (1-0) Tennessee Titans Sunday at Reliant Stadium.