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The Texans finally balanced out their offense with a solid running game against the Chargers. It still didn't get them a victory.
Arian Foster rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns Sunday, but the Texans lost 29-23 to the San Diego Chargers.
"We were running the ball well and doing everything we needed to do to get a win," Foster said. "But you have to have two halves of football and that's not been the characteristic of this football team the whole year. We've got to put four quarters together."
Foster did what he could to slow down quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers' passing game, and to think, he started 2009 on the Texans' practice squad. Foster languished there through 10 games. He finished strong last season and burst on the scene in the 2010 season opener with 231 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns in a thrilling opening victory over Indianapolis.
He entered Sunday's game second in the league in rushing with 737 rushing yards on 130 carries and quickly added to that total against the Chargers.
Foster also was the leading receiver with 70 yards on four catches. Joel Dreessen had five catches for 66 yards and Andre Johnson was held to four catches for 41 yards.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub finished with 266 passing yards on 21 of 32 completions. The Texans had 140 rushing yards, just the balance the Texans have been seeking.
"It's frustrating, obviously but the good thing about football is there's always another game," Foster said. "We've got to regroup and fix our mistakes and go back at it.
The Texans had to settle for Neil Rackers field goal at the end of the first half after Foster had apparently scored on a three-yard pass from Schaub with 28 second left. A replay showed Foster didn't have possession of the ball when he hit the ground.
"I was using the ball to catch my balance," Foster said. "I'm not too clear on the rule. I guess going to the ground you have to possess it. You're running and dive into the end zone, cross the plain, that's a touchdown. But I'm not sure about the rule. The refs made the call and we had to stick with it."
Right tackle Eric Winston liked the game plan for the closing minutes.
"I'm happy when we run the ball," Winston said. "I thought Arian ran the ball well. It's always tough when the situation of the game forces you to get out of it a little. When we had 5:30 left (fourth quarter), we went hurry-up to give ourselves a chance for two possessions."
Foster didn't take much solace in looking at his personal stats.
"I wouldn't say it's satisfying because we lost the game," Foster said. "It's a growing process. You're not going to win them all and you're not going to lose them all. We've just got find a way to win and we didn't get that done today."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael A. Lutz worked for The Associated Press for 38 years covering news and sports in Louisville, Ky., Dallas and Houston. Most of that time was spent in Houston covering the Oilers, Astros, Texans and other college and pro teams.