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Schaub, Johnson reach milestones in victory


NASHVILLE -The Titans annually have one of the league's best defenses, but Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson haven't seemed to notice lately.

While the Titans talked all week about containing running back Steve Slaton, it was Schaub and Johnson who were the biggest problem for their defense on Sunday. The two connected 10 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans' 34-31 shootout victory.

Johnson now has 21 catches for 356 yards in his last two games against Tennessee.

"We play them twice a year," Johnson said. "We pretty much know what they are going to give us. We went out and made adjustments, and the plays worked for us today."

Both Johnson and Schaub reached personal milestones in the game. Schaub set a career high with four touchdown passes. Johnson caught his 500th career reception on his 10th catch of the game, a nifty one-handed grab on the Texans' game-winning drive.

Johnson reached the benchmark in just his 88th game. He ranks second in NFL history for the fewest number of games to reach 500 receptions, behind only Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin (80 games).

Schaub's big game was a turnaround from last week, and even more so from his last two trips to Nashville. A week ago, Schaub threw for 166 yards with a 55.9 passer rating in a 24-7 loss to the Jets. At Tennessee in 2008, he had three interceptions, no touchdowns and only passing 188 yards. The year before, he threw just five passes before being knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury.

{QUOTE}The third time at LP Field was the charm. Schaub wasn't sacked, wasn't intercepted and distributed the ball to seven different receivers en route to 357 passing yards.

"We have confidence in what we can do," Schaub said. "Last week, we stumbled a little bit, but that's the nature of the game. In football, you've got to move on to the next week. You have to keep moving forward."

Schaub's favorite target by far on Sunday was Johnson, who got twice as many passes thrown his way than any of his teammates. Johnson had two drops on the Texans' first drive, reminiscent of the 2008 game at Tennessee when he dropped two potential touchdowns in a 31-12 loss.

Johnson finished with only two catches in that forgettable game a year ago. This time, he rebounded to post his 26th career 100-yard game, a memorable performance in a memorable victory.

The three-time Pro Bowler's 72-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was the second-longest play of his career. His 19-yard touchdown in the first quarter wasn't nearly as long of a play, but it was far more spectacular. As he tried to catch up to Schaub's lofted pass in the end zone, Johnson extended his right hand to keep the ball in the air, then corralled it with one hand while getting two feet inbounds.

"I started off kind of slow," Johnson said. "Those are things you have to put behind you. You can't let them be in your mind if you're going to move on. You have to keep playing. We knew we had some opportunities in the game."

In a unifying victory against a bitter division rival on the road, the Texans rolled up 420 yards of offense. Schaub was at his best on third and fourth down, when he went 8-of-12 for 83 yards and a touchdown and passed for six first downs.

Most importantly for the Texans, who had the league's No. 3 offense last season, Schaub's rapport with No. 80 looks as good as ever.

"Me and Matt talk a lot," Johnson said. "We watch film together every morning. I go in our quarterbacks' room and sit with the quarterbacks and watch film with them. We are on the same page."

That's not something the Texans' offense could say about itself after Week 1. What a difference a week makes.

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at ******* or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at *******.

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