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Postgame notebook: Texans vs. 49ers


Safety Eugene Wilson's interception sealed a 24-21 victory for the Texans Sunday over the 49ers

The Texans moved to 4-3 for the second time in franchise history with a 24-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Johnson update:Wide receiver Andre Johnson has a chest contusion and was taken to the hospital for further examination. He left the game two plays after making a leaping, twisting 44-yard catch between two defenders in the fourth quarter.

Determined to play, Johnson returned to the game a few plays later before being taken out for good. He finished with two catches for 62 yards. A Texans spokesperson said that Johnson was out of the hospital after the game. The team will provide an update on his status tomorrow.

Ryans sets mark:Linebacker DeMeco Ryans became the leading tackler in Texans history on Sunday, passing former Texans linebacker Jamie Sharper on the team's all-time list. Ryans recorded six tackles against the 49ers to push his career total to 446. Sharper, who played with the Texans from 2002-04, had 442 tackles with the team.

"It's special to me," Ryans said. "I feel fortunate to be able to come in and set records. It's a great compliment, and I've got to thank the other 10 guys that are out there with me."

Schaub ties team record:With two touchdown passes on Sunday, quarterback Matt Schaub tied David Carr's single-season franchise record of 16 with nine games to go. That also set a new career-high for Schaub, whose previous best was 15 in 2008.

Schaub was 20-of-30 with 264 yards and the two scores, good for a 116.5 passer rating. It was his fourth game this season with a rating higher than 100.

Slaton up and down:Running back Steve Slaton scored touchdowns in the first half on a one-yard run and a nine-yard reception. He now has five touchdowns in the last four games.

The second-year running back also lost a fumble in 49ers' territory late in the third quarter. It was his fourth lost fumble of the season; he had only two as a rookie in 2008.

"He makes big plays for us; he touches it and good things happen," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "But at the same time, you can make five big plays and one turnover can get you beat. Steve understands that.

"I told him after the game, 'We're going to go as far as you take us, and you've got to figure out a way to protect the football.' But Steve's our guy and I have a lot of confidence in him, and it's our job to help him find a way to hold onto the ball."

{QUOTE}Slaton finished with 67 rushing yards on 18 carries (3.7 avg.), with a long run of 31 late in the fourth quarter. He had four catches for 22 yards as the Texans continued to get him involved in the passing game.

Shutting down the run: The Texans again were stout against the run, limiting the 49ers to 59 yards on the ground. Running back Frank Gore, who came into the game averaging 6.2 yards per carry, averaged 2.5 against the Texans with 13 carries for 32 yards.

In the last four weeks, the Texans have recorded four of the nine best rushing defense totals in franchise history. They were 32nd in the league against the run after three games.

"Our defensive line stepped up their game, and they have been playing really well," Ryans said. "We pride ourselves on stopping the run, and we're going to continue to get better and better at it."

Tale of two halves: In the first half, the Texans shut out the 49ers and allowed only 50 yards, the lowest total in a half in franchise history. They allowed one yard in the first quarter, when they forced the 49ers into three three-and-outs in three possessions. The Texans came into the game forcing more three-and-outs (27) than any team in the league.

The second half was a different story. Alex Smith replaced Shaun Hill as the 49ers' quarterback and went 15-of-22 for 206 yards and three touchdowns, all to tight end Vernon Davis.

But the defense stepped up in the clutch. Four of Smith's seven incompletions came on the 49ers' last drive, including a game-clinching interception by safety Eugene Wilson.

"It was back and forth," said linebacker Brian Cushing, who had a team-high eight tackles. "We couldn't have played any better that first half. We really came out and played with good excitement. The second half, it seemed everything was down a little bit. They were making the plays. But when we had to grind down and make those last couple plays, we were able to."

Brown delivers: Kicker Kris Brown made a 50-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter. It put the Texans up 24-14 and wound up providing the game-winning margin.

In the three previous games, Brown had missed three field goals, two of which were blocked. It looked like he was in line for another short field goal attempt on Sunday, but a 15-yard penalty on left tackle Duane Brown pushed the Texans back to fourth-and-31 from the 32-yard line. Brown calmly stepped in and nailed the kick, his first attempt from beyond 40 yards this season.

"Kris kicked the ball well all game," Kubiak said. "He was kicking the ball into the end zone on kickoffs."

Win the turnover battle, win the game: The Texans won the turnover battle 2-1, which included Wilson's interception with 36 seconds left to play.

The Texans have won the turnover battle four times this season and won all four of those games. They're now 17-2 under Kubiak when winning the turnover margin, with 15 consecutive victories.

Pressuring the pocket: The Texans entered the game with six sacks on the entire season. They recorded two in the first quarter on 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill.

Defensive end Mario Williams recorded his team-leading third sack of the season on the 49ers' first play from scrimmage. Defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina, 39, added a sack later in the quarter. Zgonina now has two sacks this season, his highest total since 2005 with the Miami Dolphins.

Presidential salute: Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were at the game as honorary captains as part of the Texans' "Salute to the Military" game theme. They were at midfield for the pregame coin toss, with President George H.W. Bush doing the honors. The Texans won the toss and elected to receive, then charged out to a 21-0 first-half lead.

After the coin toss, Bush and Bush watched the game on the field and with Texans owner Bob McNair in the Founder's Suite.

President George H.W. Bush lives in Houston and has been to many Texans games with McNair over the years. President George W. Bush, less than a year removed from his second term in office, attended a Texans game at Reliant Stadium for the first time.

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