Lightning strike


On a day the power went out at Reliant Stadium, a team with a lightning bolt on its helmet supplied plenty of energy.

The San Diego Chargers beat the Texans 27-20, milking the clock in the closing minutes to preserve a victory delayed briefly by a power outage that affected all of Reliant Park.

The game was delayed for about 10 minutes before officials made the decision to open the stadium roof for extra light while full power was restored.

But illumination was the least of the Texans problems.

The team turned the ball over four times in the game, resulting in 14 San Diego points.  

"It's one of the hard ones to swallow because we know we beat ourselves," cornerback Dunta Robinson said. "We weren't out played; we just made a lot of silly mistakes on both sides of the football."

Robinson was called for pass interference in the game, leading to a Charger field goal. He was tripped up on another play, leaving Charger receiver Reche Caldwell open for a 36-yard touchdown grab.

A drained Texans locker room spoke with one voice after the game.

A disapointed voice.

Turning the ball over four times almost never equals victory, especially against a team that can control the clock with a dominant rusher like LaDainain Tomlinson.

Tomlinson's rushing provided the power for two first downs at the end of the game and kept the Texans from taking a final shot to tie the score. Houston was ready to score with 3:57 remaining in the game, but running back Domanick Davis fumbled for his second time of the afternoon.

"I was playing a little too hard trying to make something happen and I wasn't focused on the little things like having two hands on the ball going through traffic," Davis said. "Someone just touched it and it popped out.

"I can honestly say I was trying to make plays too much and it cost."

The fumbles were gloomy spots on an otherwise sunny day for Davis, who finished with two touchdowns, 70 receiving yards and 87 rushing yards. He led the team in both categories.

Quarterback David Carr had the other two turnovers, throwing two interceptions.

The mistakes derailed an offense that was moving the ball at will. Carr completed passes to seven different receivers for 229 yards. The Texans had 336 yards of total offense, but settled for a couple of Kris Brown field goals early and short touchdown runs in the second and third quarters.

"If we're down there four times we've got to score," Carr said. "That's not a way to play football. We won't be within seven points if we play that way the rest of the year. I know that."

The Texans defense held Tomlinson, who is regarded as perhaps the best running back in the league, to 121 rushing yards and minus-4 receiving yards.

Rookie linebacker Jason Babin drew one-on-one coverage with Tomlinson several times during the game, dropping him for losses two times.

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Babin was second on the team with seven tackles, but he was one of the leaders in the locker room when it came to crediting the Chargers execution and the Texans lack there of.

"I guess it really doesn't matter how good one player plays if the team loses," he said.

In many ways the Texans were as deflated as the balloons that were reported to have caused the power outage.

But balloons can be blown back up.

"It's deflating," Carr said. "We would like to come out here and start the season off with a strong start. But in no way does that detract from our goals this year. We're still as talented. We still have the same confidence that we did when we walked out on the field."

Head coach Dom Capers preached overcoming adversity in his post game press conference. It's not necessarily what fans want to hear after losing a game many expected to win, but the Texans have 15 more games to make better impressions.

"Many things will happen over the next fifteen weeks," Capers said. "You find out a lot about teams and how they respond … We plan on going back to work and correcting things and I believe this football team will get better as long as we take the right approach."

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