The Texans lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a heartbreaking 31-24 loss at home on Battle Red Day presented by Halliburton.
Schaub shines in loss: Quarterback Matt Schaub had his second consecutive game with at least 300 yards and three touchdowns. He was 26-of-35 on Sunday with a 116.4 passer rating and an interception. He threw three touchdown passes in the first half for the second consecutive week.
Schaub now leads the AFC with seven touchdown passes. Drew Brees is the only quarterback in the NFL with more.
Another busted assignment: Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew scored on a 61-yard touchdown run through the right side of the Texans' defense in the second quarter. Safety John Busing was the closest player to the massive hole that Jones-Drew ran through on his way to the end zone.
It was reminiscent of long touchdown runs in Week 1 by the Jets running back Thomas Jones, and in preseason games by Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and New Orleans' Mike Bell.
"We were out of gap, once again," defensive end Mario Williams said. "Every time we sit here and give up big yardage like that, it's us. It's nothing they did at all. We had a guy right there and were just completely out of gap."
Confidence in Bush:Despite the defense's struggles, head coach Gary Kubiak and the players stood behind defensive coordinator Frank Bush after the game.
"We have to get it fixed. The players have to get it fixed," cornerback Dunta Robinson said. "Frank Bush is putting us in great situations. We're not going out there and taking care of our business."
The Texans allowed the Jaguars to convert 5-of-11 times on third down. They have allowed 29.7 points per game. A week from now, they'll try to rebound at home against the 1-2 Oakland Raiders.
"This is the NFL," Bush said. "You keep going. They're going to kick it off next Sunday regardless of whether we feel bad about ourselves or not. So we've got to pull ourselves up by the bull straps and go out and work even harder. It's all about the work. We have to work even harder."
Two touchdowns, zero points: The Texans had two near misses on a game-tying touchdown on their final possession. Schaub had a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Joel Dreessen nullified on a controversial offensive pass interference call on Kevin Walter. Two plays later, running back Chris Brown was inches from crossing the goal line before he fumbled the ball into the end zone.
"You basically score twice and you take two touchdowns away from yourself," Kubiak said. "You think we couldn't have done any more than get it in the end zone. We got it in there twice and then just shot ourselves in the foot.
"I thought (the fumble) was worth the challenge. We felt like his knee was down before the ball came out, but they obviously didn't see it that way."
A tale of two halves:A week after catching 10 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, receiver Andre Johnson got off to a fast start against the Jaguars. He caught four balls for 86 yards in the first half, accounting for almost half of Schaub's 200 passing yards.
But that was it. Johnson wasn't targeted a single time in the second half.
"They did some things; they play him like a lot of people play him," Kubiak said. "They obviously did some things to cut to him, but I thought it opened up our running game a little bit."
The Texans averaged 8.0 yards per carry in the second half after running at a 3.7 clip in the first.
Slaton improves: Running back Steve Slaton topped 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time this season, gaining 76 yards on 12 carries (6.3 avg.) and 37 yards on three receptions.
"He played better," Kubiak said. "I thought he was a little more aggressive to the line of scrimmage. He did a good job in protection. We put him in some tough edges against their three-four."
With 111 rushing yards, the Texans exceeded their output (106 yards) from the first two games combined. Slaton moved past Ron Dayne into second on the franchise's all-time rushing list with 1,409 career yards.
No sacks for Mario:Williams sacked David Garrard three times last season at Reliant Stadium. The Jaguars start two rookies, Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, at offensive tackle, so many expected a big game from Williams on Sunday. He had three tackles but didn't record a sack or quarterback pressure.
"They played well," Williams said of Monroe and Britton. "The quarterback got rid of the ball on time. They did good."
Better in the red zone: The Texans made five trips inside the Jacksonville 20-yard line and came away with three touchdowns, a field goal and one costly turnover.
The Texans now have scored on seven out of eight trips (87.5 percent) to the red zone, including five touchdowns (62.5 percent). Last season, they scored touchdowns on just 45.9 percent of their red zone possessions.
Cushing leads defense again:Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing led the team with eight tackles, including two solos and six assists. It was the third consecutive game in which he has led or tied for the team lead in stops. No Texans rookie defender had ever led the team in his first two career games before Cushing.
The first-round draft pick out of USC also registered a tackle for loss and had a team-best and career-high two passes defensed.