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Texans beat Dolphins 29-28


Jacoby Jones sliced through the Miami coverage team for his first-career touchdown.

It's fitting that after suffering two dramatic losses in a row that the Texans earned their first victory of the season in dramatic fashion.

The Texans stared 0-5 in the eye trailing the Miami Dolphins 28-23 with 52 seconds left in the game. But wide receiver Andre Johnson willed his team down the field with an acrobatic 23-yard catch on fourth-and-10 from the Houston 36.

Wide receiver Kevin Walter's 30-yard grab two plays later put the Texans into scoring range, and quarterback Matt Schaub scored on a three-yard draw play out of shotgun formation on fourth-and-two with three seconds left in the game to give Houston the awe-inspiring 29-28 win.

"Just making that play is the difference between winning and losing the football game," coach Gary Kubiak said of Johnson's crucial reception.

"I don't know how I made the play," Johnson said. "I just made it.

"To be honest, I didn't even know what down it was."

Johnson thinks the two-minute drive was a big test for the offense.

"It shows what we can do," he said. "And hopefully it can be the start of something special."

Johnson's fourth down catch could be a season-changer for Houston. The two-time Pro Bowler finished with a career-high 178 receiving yards with a touchdown in the third quarter.

Schaub, meanwhile, bounced back from two interceptions on the Texans' first two drives to complete 22-of-42 passes for 379 yards along with his second-career game-winning drive, both of which have come against the Dolphins at Reliant Stadium.

The Texans totaled a franchise-record 485 net yards of offense but turned the ball over four times, including a fumble by safety Eugene Wilson on his interception return with 3:18 left in the contest.

{QUOTE}Despite the setbacks, which included Johnson's fumble near the Miami goal line late in the third quarter, Houston overcame the obstacles in front of a crowd of 70,023.

"We're a 1-4 team and we're battling for our lives," Kubiak said. "We're making a great deal of mistakes as a team, but we're doing some unbelievable things. If we can just figure out a way, from a maturity standpoint, to protect the ball better, do some smarter things in some tougher situations, I think we have a chance to be a dang good football team."

Defensively, the Texans limited Miami to two third down conversions on 10 attempts and forced seven punts on 14 drives. Defensive end Mario Williams finished with two sacks and a forced fumble, providing constant pressure on quarterback Chad Pennington.

Despite that effort, Miami victimized Houston early with their "Wildcat" offense. After Schaub was picked off by Andre Goodman on the opening drive, running back Ronnie Brown received a direct snap and handed it off to running back Ricky Williams, who rushed right before tossing the ball to quarterback Chad Pennington. Pennington then connected with running back Patrick Cobbs on a 53-yard touchdown pass to help give Miami a 7-0 lead with 6:08 left in the first quarter.

After another Schaub interception, tight end Owen Daniels got the Texans' offense on track with two catches for 42 yards on the third series. An incomplete pass on third-and-three from the nine-yard line set up Kris Brown's 27-yard field goal.

Down 14-3 after Cobbs' 80-yard touchdown catch, Houston responded thanks to André Davis' 50-yard kickoff return to the Miami 42. A 20-yard catch by Johnson followed by a five-yard illegal contact penalty gave the Texans a first down at the 15-yard line. After Schaub's third down pass was deflected, Brown hit a 33-yard field goal to cut Miami's lead to 14-6 with 9:07 left in the first half.

A 70-yard punt return for a touchdown by wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who sprinted through the middle of the Dolphins' coverage team, made the score 14-13 with 5:24 remaining before halftime after Brown's extra point. After scoring, Jones jumped into the first row of seats behind the end zone, where his mother has season tickets.

The Texans started their first possession of the second half from their 22-yard line. On the third play from scrimmage, Johnson caught a 61-yard pass to the 13-yard line after running past one defender and breaking a tackle near the 25-yard line. He finished the drive with a juggling 12-yard touchdown pass that put Houston ahead 20-14 with 10:00 left in the third quarter.

After a 33-yard catch by wide receiver Greg Camarillo, Pennington found tight end David Martin for a 17-yard gain to the Texans' five-yard line, where Williams rushed for a five-yard score off the left end to give the Dolphins a 21-20 lead.

The Texans committed their third turnover when Johnson caught a 17-yard pass to the Dolphins' seven-yard line, where he had the ball poked out by cornerback Will Allen. Safety Yeremiah Bell wrestled the ball away from tight end Joel Dreessen in the end zone for Miami's third takeaway.

With 10:13 left in the game, Pennington tossed a short pass to fullback Casey Cramer on third-and-two at the Miami 43. Linebacker Morlon Greenwood stopped Cramer one yard short of the first down, but Dolphins coach Tony Sparano challenged the spot of the ball. After the officials confirmed the ruling on the field, Miami punted into the end zone.

Schaub hit Daniels and Walter on consecutive completions for 40 yards to put Houston into scoring range. On third-and-nine from the 24-yard line, Schaub's pass to Walter was deflected into the air, but safety Renaldo Hill missed the interception. Brown's 42-yard field goal gave the Texans a 23-21 lead with 6:04 left in the game.

In the most unlikely play of the game, Pennington's third down pass to tight end Anthony Fasano was tipped in the air and intercepted by Wilson, who was tackled and fumbled at the Dolphins' 27-yard line. Guard Justin Smiley recovered the ball to keep Miami in the game. Three plays later, Pennington passed to Brown for a 39-yard gain to the Houston 12 at the two-minute warning. Brown's six-yard touchdown run moments later put Miami ahead 28-23 after Dan Carpenter's extra point.

With 1:40 left in the contest and two timeouts remaining, the Texans began from their 24-yard line. Schaub followed an eight-yard loss on a sack with a 20-yard completion to Davis. Schaub was tackled on the ensuing snap, but the officials signaled an incomplete pass rather than a fumble to save the drive. On third-and-10 from the 36-yard line, Schaub's pass intended for Johnson appeared to be picked off by Goodman. After review, officials overturned the ruling on the field and the Texans kept possession.

After dodging those bullets, Johnson made his incredible fourth down catch that ultimately led to the game-winning score.

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