The Houston Texans lost their fourth-straight game in an unpredictable fashion.
The St. Louis offense, defense, and special teams each scored in the Rams' 38-13 victory at Reliant Stadium. Three touchdowns by quarterback Sam Bradford, an fumbled kick-off return, and an interception returned for a touchdown all contributed to the Rams' insurmountable lead over Houston.
"It doesn't matter how many good things we do right now because we do just so many poor things," head coach Gary Kubiak said after the game. "I'll just say this – for the past few weeks the finger has been pointed in one direction a lot. But we sprung leaks all over the place today as a football team. We got our butt kicked as a football team. (Head Coach) Jeff (Fisher) and his team did a great job. We just seem to make too many mistakes, key mistakes. Obviously a lot of stuff that is going on is good, but can't overcome the mistakes right now."
Despite putting up 420 yards of total offense, the Texans were only able to find the end zone once. Houston had four turnovers, two fumbles and two interceptions. St. Louis returned two of those for touchdowns. The Houston defense was unable to gain any turnovers for the second-straight week.
"That was a big thing and we did not turn the ball over," Fisher said. "We had a couple of offensive penalties late, but keeping the penalties down and protecting the football and not turning it over for us has been very helpful the last two weeks. And keeping our quarterback upright for that matter."
Matt Schaub was 15-of-21 for 186 yards and a passer rating of 98.5 before leaving the game with an injury. With 3:54 remaining in third quarter, Schaub, injured on a sack by Chris Long, would not return to the game.
"Matt's got a little bit of everything on that one leg, so we'll take a look at it," Kubiak said after the game.
T.J. Yates took over but struggled, throwing the team's fifth pick-six in as many games on his first drive. Yates completed 11-of-16 passes for 98 yards and had two interceptions.
"We are turning the ball over and not playing well," Yates said. "We moved the ball great out there. We had almost 400 yards of total offense. We have to score in the red zone. We have to not give them many chances to win. We can't help any other team. We have to help ourselves. We are just not doing that right now."
In the first half, Houston's offense moved the ball successfully but was unable to score. Arian Foster shined with 98 yards rushing on 10 carries and two catches for 46 yards. Matt Schaub was 11-of-14 for 153 yards. Penalties plagued the Texans who committed seven for 95 yards before halftime.
St. Louis scored first on a 65-yard drive extended 40 yards by pass interference penalty on Kareem Jackson. Sam Bradford threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cory Harkey to give the Rams a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Schaub marched the Texans down the field on Houston's second offensive series, but a fumble by DeAndre Hopkins following a 12-yard catch would end the drive. Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis recovered the fumble. Greg Zuerlein kicked a 42-yard field goal and St. Louis gained a 10-0 lead with 13:22 remaining in the second quarter.
Randy Bullock was successful on both of his field goal attempts, kicking from 20 and 35 yards. The Texans trailed 17-6 at halftime.
"They came out and gnashed us in the first half and coach made great adjustments," Rams defensive end Chris Long said. "We did a good job in the second half."
In the second half, the Texans eliminated their penalties but continued to make costly mistakes.
In the third quarter, St. Louis scored back-to-back touchdowns in six seconds. Bradford found receiver Brian Quick in the endzone on a two-yard touchdown pass. On the ensuing kickoff, Keshawn Martin fumbled the return. Daren Bates recovered and ran in an 11-yard touchdown, giving the Rams a 31-6 lead with 7:36 remaining in the third quarter.
When Schaub left the game, Yates took over at the St. Louis 23-yard line. On the same drive, Yates threw a pass, intended for Garrett Graham, and was picked off by Alec Ogletree and returned 98 yards for a touchdown. St. Louis increased its lead to 38-6 with 0:50 remaining in the third quarter. Yates would throw a second interception before leading Houston to its first touchdown of the game, a one-yard run by Ben Tate in the fourth quarter.
Sam Bradford was 12-of-16 for 117 yards and three touchdown passes. Zac Stacy rushed for 79 yards on 18 carries.
"We just went out and executed," Stacy said. "There were no secrets or anything like that. We knew Houston has one of the best defenses in the league. The main thing for us was to just go out and execute and that's what we did."
Arian Foster had 20 carries for 141 yards of rushing and four catches for 57 yards. Foster had a 41-yard gain, his longest since 2011, on short pass from Schaub. Andre Johnson led the receivers with seven catches for 88 yards.
"Nobody thought we would be in this position we're in right now after six games," Johnson said. "It's a disappointment. You've got ten games left and somehow we've got to find a way to win these ten games. That's pretty much it."
The Texans fall to 2-4 on the season and will next head to Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Sunday, October 20.
Danieal Manning was the kickoff returner for the first time in 2013, but left in the third quarter with a right knee injury.