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Houston Texans

Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels propel Texans offense


With 16 catches between them, wide receiver Andre Johnson and tight end Owen Daniels helped pace the Texans' passing attack in Sunday's 43-13 victory over Baltimore.

"That's when we're at our best," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said, "when somehow the ball is getting dispersed between those two and it doesn't have to be one guy having a big day or the other, but both of them touching it."

Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 256 yards and two scores in a 23-of-37 performance, finding five different pass-catchers on the day. Johnson wound up with a game-high nine receptions for 86 yards, while Daniels finished with seven catches for 59 yards.

Schaub said the offense is at its best "when Andre is making plays and Owen (is) working the middle and making mismatches on guys."

Daniels pulled in his team-best fourth touchdown reception of the season on a one-yard catch in the second quarter. It pushed the Texans' lead to 23-3 with 5:58 remaining in the half.

In a team meeting on Saturday night, Kubiak called on the team captains to elevate their level of play. Johnson, the team's longest tenured player, was one of the leaders who responded.

"When you're a captain, a little bit more pressure is put on you," Johnson said. "He called out all the captains and just told everybody we need to turn it up a notch, take our leadership role and do what's necessary for us to win."

Running back Arian Foster finished the game with a pair of touchdown carries and 98 yards on the ground, in large part to the way Johnson opened things up for him.

"Any time Andre is going, he spreads the defense out," Foster said. "He makes them account for him."

Ravens safety Ed Reed, who played with Johnson at Miami (Fla.), said the wide receiver's leadership is showing.

"I know how those guys work," Reed said. "I know Andre Johnson and what he wants, and I know his heart. He comes from a championship program, and I'm sure he's leading that way."

Johnson passed Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe on the all-time receiving yardage list to move into 36th place with 10,100. The 86-yard output was his second-highest total of the season. Kubiak thinks the best is still to come in 2012.

"I think he's really starting to come along and feel a lot better about things," Kubiak said. "I think he's only going to get better throughout the course of the season."

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