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Texans-Chiefs postgame notebook


Quarterback Matt Schaub celebrates wide receiver Andre Johnson's 77-yard touchdown reception.

Number 80 gets 142: Wide receiver Andre Johnson was glowing after the Texans' 20-3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, and the sparkle had nothing to do with his fine jewelry.
The two-time Pro Bowler left the game with 142 receiving yards, including a 77-yard catch for a touchdown. The grab, which was the longest in Johnson's career, pushed him over the 4,000-yard receiving mark.

"It's just something that we've seen off on the sidelines, looking at the pictures, and a play that we had been working on for awhile, and it had never opened up like it did today," Johnson said. "We ran the play with the perfect coverage and it was wide open."

Everything seemed to fall into place for the Texans after quarterback Matt Schaub found Johnson up the middle, and number 80 sauntered into the end zone to give the Texans a 10-0 lead and mega confidence boost.

"It is probably the most confident not just for me, but for the guys who have been here through those time," Johnson said. "It's probably the most confident these guys have been."

Don't Mess with Mario: Last year's top pick finally had his breakout game, returning a fumble for a touchdown and finishing with five tackles, including two sacks. The defensive end entered the press conference grinning ear-to-ear and clutching the touchdown football, which he was keeping for his nephew.

In fact, he had trouble letting go of that ball from the moment he touched it.

"I jumped on the ball, and the next thing I know I hear Amobi (Okoye) saying 'Get up, get up.' I said okay and got up and took off running," Williams said. "I was in the right place at the right time."

Williams also credited the entire defensive unit for being in the right place both mentally and physically.

"Our mindset was there," Williams said. "When we came out, the whole defense came out together walking. That's how we approached the whole thing is that we're going to be together coming out here tonight, and that's what we did.

"But when you look at it, my soldiers, the line, the linebackers, the DB's - the credit is on them. They played so well."

Run for it: While preparing his team for Kansas City, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak preached the importance of the running game. And he wasn't talking about the Chief's explosive rushing offense built around back Larry Johnson. Kubiak said the Texans' rushers had to get the job done on the ground for the team to win.

Running backs Ahman Green and Ron Dayne delivered, especially in the fourth quarter when the offense was looking to avoid costly turnovers. Green and Dayne compiled 109 rushing yards, which was 37 more yards than the entire Kansas City team combined.

"We knew they were going to start throwing the blitz at us, because they knew they had to make a play for them to get the ball," Green said. "From our standpoint, it was just trying to establish the run, and with the big pass play to Andre (Johnson) we did that, because they bit on the play-fake, play action."

Kubiak said Green's 73-yard game was a step, or a run, in the right direction.

"You've got to be able to run the ball in this league when everybody knows you are going to run it," Kubiak said. "And they knew that we were going to run the ball there late in the game on those drives, and we were still able to effectively do that. So that was some progress right there."

The Bessemer Boys: There must be something in the water in Bessemer, Ala. Three players in the game are from this tiny town with a population of 29,672: Texans' defensive end Earl Cochran and linebacker DeMeco Ryans and Chiefs' linebacker Johnny Baldwin.

"We like to represent our city," Ryans said. "It's a special thing to be coming out of Bessemer and have three guys in the NFL playing on the same field."

Bessemer is also the hometown of Saints' defensive tackle McKinley Boykin, Jets' safety Kerry Rhodes, Green Bay's fullback Corey White, and 1985 Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL and MLB star Bo Jackson.

Injury Report: Texans free safety Jason Simmons left the game midway through the second quarter on a golf cart stretcher. Simmons tore the patellar tendon in his left knee and will not play for the rest of the season. Kubiak said the injury means that recently acquired strong safety Michael Boulware will start seeing playing time…Defensive end N.D. Kalu cracked two bones in his hand and returned to game with a cast to register a fourth-quarter sack…Defensive tackle Travis Johnson suffered a sprained ankle and fullback Vonta Leach had back spasms, but both are expected to return for the team's next practice on Wednesday.

Seen & Heard: Mayor Bill White sported a custom-made Liberty White jersey as he presided over the coin toss…Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani watched the pregame festivities on the field with Texans owner Bob McNair…Clay Walker sang the national anthem and also his renowned Texans' fight song at halftime of the game...McNair also hosted legendary NFL composer Sam Spence, who wrote the Texans' new song titled, "We are the Texans" (lyrics).

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