*Tune into Texans TV on HoustonTexans.com Monday at 3:30 p.m. CT for the live streaming video of Coach Kubiak's weekly press conference.
Battle Red Day was starting to look like Battle Red-faced day Sunday before Arian Foster and the offensive line finally battered the tough Jacksonville Jaguars' defense into submission and pulled out a hard-fought 24-14 victory.
There was a time the Texans might have cratered in the fourth quarter pressure-cooker. Not this time. The defense provided some big opportunities and the Texans turned their running game over to Foster to grind out the victory.
"I couldn't tell you the individual variables of what's going on," Foster said. "You just feel it. There's this energy, this aura that kind of sits in our locker room. The defense, I love watching them
play and they probably love watching us play."
Linebacker Brian Cushing intercepted a pass when the Jaguars were nearing the Texans' goal line late in the second quarter to keep the score at 7-7. Early in the fourth quarter, Jason Allen's theft set up Foster's four-yard touchdown run for a 21-7 lead.
"There's this playful badgering going back and forth," Foster said. "We have chemistry. Maybe that's it, maybe not. That's what I feel and that's what we have to keep going."
Foster rushed 112 yards on a career-high tying 33 carries in another workhorse performance. It was his 12th 100-yard rushing game, setting a team record. The touchdown was his 23rd career score, which equaled the club record.
"We kept banging and banging and he (Foster) did his best running at the end of the game," coach Gary Kubiak said. "That's what good backs do. That's what good teams do. In that situation, you've got to stay on the field and put the ball away offensively."
Foster's fourth quarter was masterful. He rushed 13 times for 53 yards, including his touchdown run. Two of his runs gave the Texans time-consuming first downs.
"Everything starts with our run in our system and everyone up front did a great job today," Foster said. "It was one of those games where it was tough sledding. There were not a lot of yards to be gained. But you have to be opportunistic when the opportunity presents itself.
"When you have a defense that's playing as well as our defense is it makes it a little easier. You are allotted some room for error. When they are playing that good, it helps us out a lot."
Foster took pride in having the game placed in his hands in the fourth quarter.
"As an athlete, you want the ball in your hands when the game's on the line," Foster said. "Our coaching staff put that trust in myself and the offensive line. We got it done for the most part today.
"They are a stout defense. Anytime you have any success on the ground with a defense like that you've got to pat yourself on the back a little bit."
Foster had a monster day in last Sunday's 41-7 victory over Tennessee with 115 yards rushing on 25 carries and two touchdowns as well as five catches for 119 yards and another score.
"In the past, we've tried to find ways to lose games, this year, we're finding ways to win," Foster said. "This is a great way to start and we're excited about that, but our coaches told us today in the locker room, 'What does five wins get you in this league?' It doesn't get you anything. We're going to refocus tomorrow, watch the film and go back to work for Cleveland."
Quarterback Matt Schaub was glad to have Foster handy in the fourth quarter.
"Late in the game, the offensive line, our tight ends and our backs, and the receivers down field, we said we're going to grind this clock out and get first downs, and put it up to a two-score game," Schaub said. "The credit goes to those guys up front and our back."
Foster is still getting into regular season shape after starting the season sidelined with a hamstring injury. Still, he can feel the steam building.
"You have to be cohesive as an offense, you have to have time," Foster said. "I've missed some time this year, Lawrence Vickers, he's hasn't missed time but he's just now getting involved with the offense heavily. I think it's going to take more, but we're starting to make strides and it's starting to get noticed."
The Jaguars didn't allow the Texans' running backs to be as involved in the passing game.
"This is the NFL, the guys on the other side of the ball get paid to make plays," Foster said. "We weren't involved in the passing game this week and that's OK. We're not looking to fill up stat sheets for your fantasy football leagues. We're looking to get wins and that's what we did today."
A grind-it-out victory like Sunday's will help down the road.
"It's good to get a win when it's going back and forth and you're not getting a lot of yards," Foster said. "Down the stretch it's just going to get tougher, people come to play. You have to win tough games and win the other type of games, too."
Foster feels the momentum building.
"It feels good to be sitting in the driver's seat," Foster said. "The city has rallied behind us and it gives us energy and we love that. I love this city and I love playing for this ball club. It's fun to be out there when you feel that. We don't want to let them down."