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Rex Burkhead scores twice, explodes on ground in Texans win

Rex Burkhead exploded on Sunday against the Chargers.

The veteran running back carried the ball 22 times for 149 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His heroics helped Houston roll to a 41-29 win.

Burkhead's first carry was a harbinger of the good things to come, as he dashed for nine yards on the Texans' first offensive play.

"The offensive line did a tremendous job from the get-go," Burkhead said. "Really, the first run of the game. Controlled the line of scrimmage. Being physical, not only at the first level but at the second level as well. Made my job easy back there."

The final time he touched the ball came when he recovered a Los Angeles onside kick, which enabled QB Davis Mills to kneel out the game clock on the next snap. Mills made sure the Texans equipment staff got that game ball to Burkhead after the contest.

"He played extremely well today," Mills said. "Ran hard all day. Two touchdowns, almost 150 yards. Loved to see it."

Burkhead capped the Texans' first possession with a 25-yard scamper up the left sideline, diving into the end zone with 6:25 remaining in the first quarter. His score and K Dominik Eberle's extra point gave the Texans a 7-3 lead, and it was one of three carries for 38 yards to start the game.

"All day long, we were able to run the ball and get positive yardage," Head Coach David Culley said. "Normally, when Rex was the ball in his hands, it's going to be a plus-yardage play."

Early in the fourth quarter, with the Texans' on top 17-15 and facing a 3rd-and-goal, Burkhead burst into the end zone for his second touchdown of the afternoon. Later in the quarter, with 3:36 left in regulation and the Texans up just 27-23, Burkhead broke loose for his longest run of the day, a 36-yarder. Los Angeles used its second timeout, then called its final timeout the next play and Burkhead went to work again, rumbling 14 yards on a 2nd-and-12.

"Rex is a phenomenal back," WR Chris Conley said. "What I saw today is what I've known all season: Rex still has it. He never lost it. We just needed to get him healthy. Get that man the ball. He runs with reckless abandon, and he does it every time he touches the rock. It makes it real easy to block for a guy like that."

Burkhead is the only Texan this season to crack the century mark in yards on the ground in a game. It's also the most he's gained in a game in his career. While he was pleased with the individual performance, he was more excited about getting the second-straight win.

"I'm more happy we got the victory," Burkhead said. "That's two in a row for us."

Houston guns for its third-straight triumph next Sunday on the road versus the 49ers.

Watch the Houston Texans take on the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on January 9. Kickoff is at noon. Click here for tickets.

Check out some photos of Houston Texans players warming up at NRG Stadium to take on the Chargers in Week 16.

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