It was a long, hard night for Houston that started on the third play from scrimmage.
Quarterback Matt Schaub threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and the 49ers never looked back in the 34-3 rout.
Schaub went on to throw two more interceptions before being benched in favor of T.J. Yates in the fourth quarter.
"Hopefully it's rock bottom tonight, but the bottom line is we turned the football over," head coach Gary Kubiak said after the game. "The defense can't keep holding up. Put yourself in a hole, you got no chance of digging yourself out of a hole against a good football team. Obviously, very disappointed."
Schaub threw his fourth pick-six in as many games this season while San Francisco scored 21 unanswered points to start the game. Houston's offense remained scoreless until Randy Bullock kicked a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter.
In the first 90 seconds of the game, Schaub's pass to Andre Johnson was picked off by 49ers' cornerback Tramaine Brock for an 18-yd touchdown. Brock continued to haunt Schaub, picking him off again in the second quarter. Johnson tackled Brock before it could materialize into another touchdown. However, the 49ers offense would find the endzone just four plays later. Anthony's Dixon's two-yard touchdown run would extend the San Francisco lead to 21-0 with 5:03 remaining in the first half.
The Texans first half possessions ended in two interceptions, two punts, and a missed field goal. Bullock would miss a 45-yard attempt after a drive that stalled following two back-to-back penalties on Owen Daniels.
The Texans offense looked to be picking up steam later in the third quarter, moving the ball 58 yards down the field but it would end in another turnover. Schaub threw his third interception of the game, a pass intended for Daniels and picked off by defensive tackle Tony Jerrod-Eddie. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick connected with Vernon Davis on a 64-yard touchdown pass just a few plays later. San Francisco extended its lead to 31-3 and the Texans would begin warming up back-up quarterback T.J. Yates.
Yates entered the game early in the fourth quarter.
"I think it was time for him to get some reps," Kubiak said. "Obviously, Matt took some hits and made some mistakes, and I just told him I was going to put T.J. in the game – and we're going to go from there and talk about it after the game or throughout the course of the week and see where we're at. But, I just thought it was the best thing to do at the time."
The Texans' offense continued to struggle as Ben Tate fumbled on the second play of the drive. San Francisco recovered and converted the Texan's fourth turnover into a 24-yard field goal by Phil Dawson. With 10:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, San Francisco extended its lead to 34-3.
Colt McCoy took over for Kaepernick and Houston would sit its defensive starters in a primetime matchup that ended in Houston's third-straight loss.
"It is definitely a bad feeling when you start off winning two games and then you lose three straight," Andre Johnson said. "The expectation level for this team is very high. When you go through something like this it is very frustrating. At the same time you can't lose focus. This rough time is the time you have to keep the team together."
Arian Foster led the Texans in rushing with 98 yards on 21 carries. He also had four receptions for 20 yards.
"I think that we caught a few bad breaks here and there, shot ourselves in the foot and things go downhill very fast in this league due to the talent level," Foster said. "I am still confident, my team is still
confident and everybody is still very positive. You just have to go back to work. We are sitting at 2-3. It
could be a lot worse, it could be a lot better, you just have to ride that wave."
Daniels caught six passes for 60 yards. Brian Cushing led the defense with six tackles. Whitney Mercilus added a sack to increase his season total to 4.5.
Schaub ended the game 19-of-35 for 173 yards and three interceptions.
"As a team, we need to get better and get better fast, myself included, most importantly," Schaub said. "We've worked too hard and I've worked too hard since I walked into this building to come to this right now. I'm better than I'm playing and our team is better than we're playing. We need to all correct this very fast."
Colin Kaepernick completed six of 15 passes for 113 yards and one touchdown. Frank Gore rushed for 81 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.
-Whitney Mercilus added a sack, increasing his total to 4.5 on the season.
-Andre Johnson extended his streak of consecutive games played with a reception to 106.
-Keshawn Martin set a career-high mark in receiving yards in a season with 92 yards.
-Martins' 49-yard kick return was the longest by a Texan this season.