The Texans lost their eighth-straight game, falling to the Oakland Raiders 28-23 at Reliant Stadium.
Per doctor's orders, head coach Gary Kubiak called plays from the pressbox. He suffered a mini-stroke two weeks ago.
Quarterback Case Keenum's fourth start ended in the third quarter when Kubiak replaced him with Matt Schaub. The Texans trailed by two scores, but Schaub was unable to close the gap. He finished with 155 yards on 12-of-25 passing. After his final pass of the day was incomplete, he got in a heated argument with Andre Johnson on the sideline.
"I'm as frustrated as everybody else is," Kubiak said after the game. "We're trying to work through some things with some really young guys playing football in some situations. We have to stay positive with them. And I know it's very hard on people like Andre and people like that who have played a lot of football here right now, but it's frustrating for me too.
After forcing two turnovers, Oakland took an early 14-0 lead. Undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin, starting for the injured Terrelle Pryor, threw for his first two NFL touchdowns after a forced fumble and an interception.
"We know what they have on their defensive line," McGloin said. "That's something that was stressed all week. I wanted to make sure I knew what they were doing defensively in terms of coverage and I wanted to be decisive in my decision-making and try to get the ball out quick and allow my receivers to catch and run with it."
The Texans gained momentum in the second quarter, scoring 17 unanswered points with big plays from special teams on a punt return for a touchdown and a 51-yard field goal.
Houston's second-half struggles continued as the Oakland offense scored 14-unanswered to regain a 28-17 lead.
Randy Bullock was 3-of-3 on the day, successfully kicking field goals from 51, 26, and 30 yards.
Houston's first offensive series ended in an Oakland turnover. Keenum found Garrett Graham for what looked to be a first down, but Graham was stripped by the Raiders' veteran safety Charles Woodson. Cornerback Phillip Adams recovered the ball and added a 26-yard return to set the Raiders up at Houston's 16-yard line.
Six plays later, McGloin threw his first career touchdown pass on a five-yarder to Denarius Moore.
Later in the first quarter, Oakland's defense came away with its second turnover of the day. Keenum's pass, intended for Graham, was intercepted by linebacker Nick Roach. It was his first career interception, after tossing 105 consecutive passes without one. On the following play, Rod Streater caught McGloin's second touchdown pass of the day to give Oakland a 14-0 lead with 3:45 remaining in the first quarter.
After four-straight drives without a score, the Texans offense finally gained momentum in the second quarter. Keenum, under pressure and scrambling all the way to the right sideline, found Graham for a 42-yard touchdown, the longest reception of his career.
Oakland's lead diminished even further following a punt returned for a touchdown by Keshawn Martin. His 87-yard scamper was the longest return in franchise history and tied the score at 14-apiece.
Bullock's career-long 51-yard field goal with 0:40 remaining in the second quarter gave the Texans their first lead of the game.
Oakland regained the lead with McGloin's third touchdown pass of the day, a 26-yarder to Mychal Rivera.
From the pressbox, Kubiak made a change at quarterback, replacing Keenum with Schaub for the remainder of the game. Keenum finished 13-of-24 for 170 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
"It doesn't change my confidence," Keenum said. "In a decision like that, I need to play better. I need to be better for this team. That's the bottom line in my book, and I'm going to get better."
Bullock added two more field goals in the fourth quarter from 26 and 30 yards. The Texans trailed 28-23 with 3:18 remaining in the game.
Schaub led the Texans down the field but was unable to score following a fourth-and-two. A false start penalty on Brandon Brooks gave the offense a second chance with an additional five yards. Schaub's pass up the middle to Johnson was incomplete with 1:15 remaining. Oakland, taking over on downs, won 28-23.
"We got down there and we only needed a yard for first down and two yards for a touchdown and we had a few shots at it," Schaub said. "Then we had the penalty that backed us up and we were trying to take a shot in the end zone to give them a chance to make a play to win the game and they made the play."
- Keshawn Martin's franchise-record 87-yard punt return was his first career punt return for a touchdown. It was the first touchdown return by a Texan since Jacoby Jones vs. Indianapolis on Sept. 11, 2011 and the fifth total in team history
- Garrett Graham's 136 receiving yards were the best of his career.
- Shane Lechler passed Chris Gardocki (50,336) into fifth place on the all-time punting yards list with his first punt of the game.
- Andre Johnson passed Keenan McCardell (883) to move into 15th place on the NFL's all-time receptions list, on his fourth reception of the game
- J.J. Watt has now recorded a sack in four consecutive games, the second-longest streak of his career. Watt had at least 0.5 sacks in his first six games of 2012
- Reliant Stadium's attendance was 71,726.