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Houston Texans

Schaub rallies, leads Texans to win


Matt Schaub started the game with two interceptions that were greeted by a chorus of boos from the home crowd at Reliant Stadium. None of that mattered after he engineered a game-winning drive against the Miami Dolphins for the second consecutive season.

The Texans' quarterback rebounded from his poor start to finish with a franchise-record 379 passing yards, one passing touchdown and the game-winning score on a fourth down quarterback draw with three seconds remaining to cap a 12-play, 76-yard drive.

Before the big finish, Schaub had to overcome more than a relentless pass-rush led by Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter. Widespread jeers from the crowd of 70,023 and chants for backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels flooded the stadium as early as the first quarter.

"It got crazy to come out and the fans were booing and chanting Sage's name and things like that," wide receiver Andre Johnson said. "(Schaub) could've easily went out and played a terrible game.

"But even when they were chanting for Sage, Matt was clapping his hands, telling us we've got them right where we want them – even though we were down. He went out and played a great game."

"He just did an unbelievable job of shutting all that stuff out and going back out there and doing what needed to be done to win the game there for us," tight end Owen Daniels said. "He made some great plays for us throughout the game."

In the first quarter, Schaub was six-of-10 for 84 yards with two interceptions. Linebacker Akin Ayodele intercepted Schaub in Miami territory on the Texans' first possession after Porter hit Schaub as he threw. Schaub was picked off by cornerback Andre Goodman on the Texans' next drive to thwart another scoring opportunity.

At every Schaub mistake, whether an interception or an incompletion, fans showered him with unforgiving boos. Schaub remained focused on rallying the Texans from under center.

{QUOTE}"It's part of this game," Schaub said. "It's one of those things that you have to go through. Our fans are eager to win and for us to win, and we were doing the things that hurt you and cause you to lose early in the ballgame.

"You just keep playing. It's just like in baseball. A pitcher throws back-to-back home runs, he's going to get booed no matter what. So you've just got to keep throwing the fastball and keep playing."

Wide receiver Kevin Walter said that Schaub's confidence never wavered in the offensive huddle. When Schaub was sacked on the first play of the Texans' final drive, he responded with a 20-yard pass to André Davis on the next snap.

Three plays later, Schaub threw what appeared to be a game-ending interception by Goodman on a pass intended for Johnson. As Texans fans fled their seats and headed for the exit aisles, officials reviewed the ruling of an interception. The play was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass, giving Houston one last chance.

On fourth-and-10 from his own 36-yard line, Schaub found Johnson for an incredible 23-yard completion that moved the Texans to the Miami 41. Schaub then hit Walter for a 30-yard pass to the Miami 11 before running into the end zone for his three-yard touchdown run on fourth down.

"You get your butt booed in the first quarter and you come back and win the game in the fourth," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "I've been there. I've seen John Elway throw four picks in the first half and throw three touchdowns in the last 10 minutes to win a game. That's part of being a quarterback."

The game-winning drive was the second of Schaub's career. His first also came against Miami, in Houston's 22-19 win at Reliant Stadium last season. In that game, Schaub drove the team 59 yards in eight plays to set up kicker Kris Brown's game-winning 57-yard field goal.

This time around, the Texans needed more than a field goal when they got the ball back with 1:45 to play trailing 28-23. Schaub, who now has thrown for 300-plus yards in two consecutive games, was up for the challenge.

"He's our leader," Walter said. "He's our quarterback. We know he's clutch when it comes down to the fourth quarter and we need points. He made things happen."

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