KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Texans defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 in both teams' preseason opener at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night. Below is a recap of the key players and outcomes of the game.
To read about the standout performances of young players including Connor Barwin and James Casey, click here.
Brown the running back:One of the biggest positives of the game was the Texans' biggest running back, 6-3, 234-pound veteran Chris Brown. Brown scored the Texans' only touchdown of the game in the first quarter and finished with 25 rushing yards on six carries along with 22 receiving yards.
On the touchdown drive, Brown showed that he might be the remedy for the Texans' red zone woes. The Texans gave Brown the ball on four consecutive plays starting at the 23-yard line. He took it up the middle for 12 yards, to the right for three, up the middle again for six more and off the left tackle for a bruising two-yard touchdown.
"That was very exciting, and that's what he is," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's a big back in the red zone and gets the ball going downhill. That's what we need him to do, and he looked like his old self tonight, so I felt very good about his time."
It was only the second game in a Texans uniform for Brown, who signed with the team last March. Brown played in one preseason game in 2008, then missed the rest of the preseason and the entire regular season with a back injury that required surgery. Kubiak said that Brown, who is determined to prove himself to his coaches and teammates, was one of the teams' best workers this offseason.
"It was a lot of hard work, so it's a long time coming," Brown said. "From the beginning of January, I've been working hard, and I think it's finally starting to pay off."
Brown the kicker: Kicker Kris Brown scored as many points, 10, as the entire Chiefs team. Even though it's just the preseason, Brown was understandably satisfied after making all three of his field goals attempts and one extra point in the pouring rain at Arrowhead Stadium.
"For me, this is what the preseason's all about, is getting in the game, getting into situations, getting used to running out on the field, going through my routine," Brown said. "And it's nice to do it even in conditions like this, so in case down the road, we get into the regular season and we face games (like this), we've gone through it before."
Brown is coming off of the best season of his 10-year career, having set franchise records in points (124), field goals (29) and field goal percentage (87.9) in 2008. During practice last week, Brown missed three consecutive field goals during a team period. He obviously fixed whatever wasn't working.
Schaub perfect: Quarterback Matt Schaub got off to a great start in 2009, going a perfect 7-of-7 for 70 yards in one quarter of action. He sprayed the ball all over the field, completing passes to six different receivers.
"We've got a lot of weapons," Schaub said. "We've got guys we can distribute the ball to, and they can all make plays, so it's my job to get it to the most open guy and let him go make a play with it. The offensive line did a great job giving me time, and you can see we were able to run the ball effectively, especially down in the red zone."
Orlovsky's debut: Dan Orlovsky played almost the entirety of the final three quarters in his first game as a Texan. Orlovsky, who signed with the Texans from the Detroit Lions this offseason, was supposed to play only the second and third quarters. Third-stringer Rex Grossman suffered a hamstring injury at the start of the fourth quarter, which put Orlovsky back on the field until the end of the game.
In brutal weather conditions, Orlovsky put up a modest stat line of 9-for-20 for 121 yards and a 64.8 passer rating. But he did lead three scoring drives and, more importantly, didn't turn the ball over.
"As a team, (we did) a great job of protecting the football, and that's important," Orlovsky said. "In that kind of game, it's probably going to be whoever turns it over the least is going to give themselves the best chance to win.
"We'll go back and watch some film. I know I left some throws out there that are going to bother me, but for the first time going out there, finally getting to play against a different color jersey, it went well. The main thing is that we came away as a football team with a win."
Schaub was impressed with his backup's debut.
"He handles situations well," Schaub said. "He's an even-keeled guy, and he was able to go out there and execute the offense, lead his huddle. I thought he did a great job given the conditions."
Sloppy weather:At kickoff, it was 79 degrees at Arrowhead Stadium with a driving wind and ominous clouds in an overcast sky. Those clouds produced a light drizzle early in the first quarter, and that light drizzle turned into a heavy downpour that cleared more than half of the Chiefs' fans the stadium by the beginning of the second half.
"Man, I haven't been in a game like that since high school," said wide receiver Andre Johnson, who watched the final three quarters from the sideline. "It's probably the most rain that I've just sat in. So I was definitely ready to come in, hurry up and get the game over with."
Rookie defensive end Connor Barwin was excited to have recorded a sack in his first NFL game action, but he wasn't excited about the weather he had to fight through to get it.
"That was counterproductive," Barwin said. "You never want those kinds of conditions, but you play through it, even though your cleats weighed about five pounds by halftime."
Battered and bruised:Injuries are a natural byproduct of NFL games, and the preseason is no exception. It doesn't help matters when the weather makes for a wet and slippery field like it did on Saturday night.
"We paid a price (for the victory)," Kubiak said. "We have some guys really banged up, and that usually happens when you get out there in a mess like that. Hopefully, we will get back and get some of these guys on the field as quick as possible."
Kubiak revealed a litany of injuries after the game: Grossman (hamstring), tight end Joel Dreessen (hyper-extended knee), rookie safety Troy Nolan (broken hand), fullback Boomer Grigsby (ankle), right tackle Eric Winston (ankle), linebacker Xavier Adibi (finger), defensive end Tim Bulman (groin) and defensive tackle Frank Okam (cut shin). The injuries to Nolan, Dreessen, Grigsby and Grossman appeared to be the most serious.
"it's a very long list for a first time out," Kubiak said. "We're going to have to get back and evaluate where we're at."