Alfred Blue had a fun day.
The second-year running back scored his first touchdown of the season on 20-yard run in the fourth quarter of the Texans' 19-9 win over Tampa Bay. It marked the longest rushing touchdown of his career.
Blue also put up the second 100-yard rushing performance of his career as he rushed for 139 yards on 31 carries.
"I was having fun out there," Blue said. "The o-line was encouraging me and I was encouraging them. The receivers were out there encouraging me on and we were just having fun as an offense. That's what it takes, when you go out there and have fun out there, you compete and you just have great games like that."
Despite a reshuffled offensive line that was without starting left tackle Duane Brown, and lost starting right guard Brandon Brooks in the second quarter, Houston's running backs put up 186 yards rushing as a unit. Arian Foster was inactive for Houston's third game of the season, still working his way back from groin surgery.
After two consecutive losses with struggles in the run game, the Texans were finally able to move the ball on the ground in their win over the Buccaneers. Head coach Bill O'Brien said the coaching staff and the team was committed to the run, which made all the difference late in the game.
"It's very, very difficult to run the ball in this league," O'Brien said. "I call them car crashes, especially early in the game. They're just a bunch of car crashes and you're hoping if you stick with it, that in the fourth quarter, it pays off for you. I give our guys a lot of credit. Our guys have worked hard: linemen, tight ends, backs."
Blue led the unit in carries and got more comfortable as the game went on. He credited an "impressive" performance by the offensive line, which included newcomers Oday Aboushi and Chris Clarke on the left side.
"The coaches trusted me and I just got in the zone," Blue said. "Just by getting a lot of carries as a runner, you get in that mode where you start to see the game slows down and I think that's what happened. The game slowed down and I was able to see the blocks more effectively and just make that one cut and get upfield."
The Texans improved to 1-2 on the season and will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons in their Week 4 matchup.
View photos from Sunday's Texans-Buccaneers game at NRG Stadium.