KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chris Brown and Kris Brown took care of the point-scoring, Frank Bush's defense lived up to its aggressive billing and the Texans earned a hard-fought victory at Arrowhead Stadium in a water-logged preseason opener.
In a 16-10 victory over the Chiefs that was played in a driving rain, Brown and Brown combined for all of the Texans' points - six on a two-yard touchdown run by the running back and 10 on three field goals and an extra point from the kicker.
The Chiefs scored their first touchdown with 5:15 remaining in the game and never posed a serious threat to take the lead after that. Bush's defense forced three turnovers in the game and limited Kansas City to 214 yards through three quarters.
"We played very good defense and we didn't turn the ball over, and that's why we won the game," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "It was a very sloppy night weather-wise, and whoever plays the best defense and whoever doesn't put it on the ground usually finds a way to win in this league."
With the exception of young players like Zac Diles, Xavier Adibi and Dominique Barber, the Texans' starters played only the first quarter before giving way to the second unit. The Chiefs had most of their starters, including new quarterback Matt Cassel, in the game until near the end of the first half.
Quarterback Matt Schaub was flawless in his 2009 debut, completing all seven of his pass attempts to six different receivers for 70 yards. He played two series, was sacked once and finished with a 108.3 passer rating. Running back Steve Slaton gained seven yards on four carries, and wide receiver Andre Johnson had one catch for 15 yards.
Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who played the entire second and third quarters and most of the fourth, finished 9-of-20 for 121 yards with a passer rating of 64.8 in his Texans' debut. Third-string quarterback Rex Grossman was on the field for only three plays at the start of the fourth quarter, as he suffered a hamstring injury during his lone series that relegated him to the sideilnes.
Orlovsky replaced Grossman on the following series and finished out the game.
"He did some good things," Kubiak said of Orlovsky. "The ball was very difficult to handle, and you could tell when he was trying to make some of those throws at the end. It's the first time out for him with us, and I'm sure he will be much better next week."
Running back Ryan Moats led all players with 52 yards rushing on 10 carries. Wide André Davis had a team-high three catches for 40 yards. Cornerback Matterral Richardson had a game-high eight tackles.
The Texans scored first on Chris Brown's touchdown run with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter. On the 12-play, 94-yard scoring drive, Brown carried the ball four times for 23 yards and gained 16 yards on a dump-off pass. He had six carries for 25 yards, all in the first half.
Kris Brown made his first field goal from 23 yards out with 5:55 left to play in the second quarter. Linebacker Kevin Bentley set up the kick by recovering a Cassel fumble at the Chiefs' 24-yard line. Orlovsky was sacked by two Chiefs' defenders on the next play, but he responded with a needle-threading 20-yard pass to tight end Joel Dreessen down to the 11-yard line.
Brown's second field goal, a 42-yarder, came with 1:12 remaining in the first half and put the Texans up 13-0. It capped a seven-play, 41-yard scoring drive, during which Davis had a 20-yard reception and Moats ran for 16 yards on two carries.
Kicker Ryan Succop got Kansas City on the scoreboard with a 48-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. Succop's field goal finished off a nine-play, 49-yard drive led by backup quarterback Brodie Croyle.
Late in the third quarter, Brown connected on a 30-yard field goal to make the score 16-3. The eight-play, 50-yard drive that led to the field goal was highlighted by Orlovsky's 19-yard pass to Darnell Jenkins and Moats' 14-yard scamper down the left sideline. The drive started after Barber stripped the ball from Chiefs running back Dantreel Savage and defensive end Jesse Nading recovered at the Houston 38. Officials upheld the ruling of a fumble after a challenge from Chiefs coach Todd Haley.
The Chiefs' offense made its first trip to the red zone midway through the fourth quarter and came away with a touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen led Kansas City 76 yards in 10 plays for the score while running a no-huddle offense out of the shotgun. The Texans' defense committed three penalties on the drive, including a personal foul on Buster Davis for hitting Thigpen out of bounds and pass interference on Richardson in the end zone on third-and-goal from the five.
The Chiefs got the ball at their own 24-yard line with 1:30 left in the game, but cornerback David Pittman intercepted Thigpen near midfield with 17 seconds left on the clock to seal the victory for the Texans. Orlovsky took a knee on the next play, and the Chiefs, who were out of timeouts, had no choice but to let the clock run out to end the game.
Two rookies came up with big plays in their NFL debuts. Defensive end Connor Barwin, a second-round draft pick, recorded his first career sack in the second quarter. Barwin wrapped up Croyle and dragged him down for an eight-yard loss on third-and-five on the play. Tight end James Casey, a fifth-round pick, made two special teams tackles on kickoff returns. Casey also made his first catch, a five-yard completion from Orlovsky to the Chiefs' 24-yard line late in the first half.
Notes: Barber started at strong safety over veteran Nick Ferguson...Kasey Studdard started at left guard, Chris White at center and rookie Brice McCain at cornerback in place of injured starters Chester Pitts, Chris Myers and Jacques Reeves, respectively...paid attendance was 64,781, but a steady downpour combined with the Texans' lead resulted in a sparsely populated stadium by the beginning of the second half.
Injuries: Kubiak revealed a litany of injuries after the game: Grossman (hamstring), Dreessen (hyperextended knee), right tackle Eric Winston (ankle), rookie safety Troy Nolan (broken hand), Adibi (finger), fullback Boomer Grigsby (ankle) and defensive end Tim Bulman (groin). Of the group, Nolan, Dreessen and Grigsby appear to be the most likely to miss time...defensive tackle DelJuan Robinson left the game with a right shoulder burner late in the first quarter. He returned midway through the second quarter and made a tackle on his first play back. The injury occured when Robinson slammed into Chiefs running back Jackie Battle at the line of scrimmage.