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Houston Texans

Texans-Jags postgame notebook


Quarterback Matt Schaub rebounded at Jacksonville, throwing for 307 yards and three touchdowns. It wasn't enough, however, to secure a Texans' win. The team fell to the Jaguars 30-27 in overtime.

Schaub in the clutch: No one needed a bigger game against the Jaguars than Matt Schaub, and the quarterback came through in the clutch.

Schaub, who took a beating in the first two defeats at Pittsburgh and Tennessee and came to Jacksonville with a quarterback rating of 51.7, put together a 29-for-40 performance for 307 yards and three touchdowns.

"I expected it," head coach Gary Kubiak said of Schaub's performance. "He's a winner, you know. I've been around a lot of guys and I'll tell you what, the kid's a battler. He had a lot on his plate going into this game and he stepped up to the plate and played like a winner."

For the first time this season, Schaub did not throw an interception nor was he sacked. He finished the day with a quarterback rating of 119.5.

"Matt made great throws, and that's one thing that we wanted to do is not turn the ball over," wide receiver Kevin Walter said. "Matt's our leader. Matt's a great quarterback He's going to continue to make great plays, and we know he can do that and today he did it."

Schaub led the Texans on five consecutive scoring drives and he looked his best in the second half, spreading the offense and staying calm in the pocket under pressure.

"I felt like I was seeing things really well and guys were stepping up and making plays for us," Schaub said. "For me to feel good about what I'm doing, there's 10 other guys in the huddle that need to be doing things well. So I think collectively, as a group offensively, we made some plays. We were able to move the football today and play a much better game, and I think it makes it hurt that much more falling one play short."

{QUOTE}Although the team never doubted Schaub, his performance helped squelch talk of a quarterback controversy.

"No one lost any belief in him in the first couple of games," offensive tackle Eric Winston said. "If that happened in the middle of the season no one would have said anything. But we were behind him 100 percent. We believe in him 100 percent and I think he showed today what he can do."

Spreading the wealth: The passing game was the most balanced it has been all season. Three players finished with over 75 receiving yards each, and none of them was named Andre Johnson.

Rookie Steve Slaton recorded eight catches for 83 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown grab. The running back also chipped in 33 yard rushing in his second NFL start.

"He's shown that he's not a rookie," Walter said. "He's shown that he's a professional. It seems like he's been playing in this league for a long time. He's mentally there, he's physically there, he can run and he's the whole package."

Schaub hooked up with Walter for two touchdown passes, including an eight-yard reception in the fourth quarter to give the Texans a 24-20 lead. Walter lined up wherever the offense needed him and finished with eight receptions for 76 yards.

Meanwhile, tight end Owen Daniels worked the middle of the field and came up with some critical first downs for the team. His 34-yard grab in the fourth quarter got Houston in Jacksonville territory and set up a scoring drive.

"They were trying to give us different looks and try something new, and we were just able to find ways to make plays whether it be Kevin or Owen, the backs, guys stepped up and made the plays," Schaub said.

"And like I said, they were playing a lot of man coverage and getting help over to Andre (Johnson), so that gives one-on-one coverage and Owen's usually matched up with a safety or linebacker and we like that matchup. And Kevin works good routes and he's able to make people miss after he catches it, so it keeps us (with) a good mix-up of intermediate throws where those guys can make plays."

With Jacksonville's corners hounding Johnson, the Pro Bowler was held to three receptions for 38 yards.

"They did a lot against us, a bunch of corner fires, played a bunch of different stuff," Kubiak said. "But, you know, Andre did some things, and we adjusted very well and got everybody involved in the football game."

Run defense still an issue: For the most part, the Texans' defense kept a lid on the potent tandem of backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, holding them to a combined 57 yards rushing.

"I thought we somewhat contained them," Kubiak said. "At the same time, they just keep coming, keep coming, keep coming and eventually they find a way."

Getting his way more often that not was quarterback David Garrard, who led the team in rushing with 41 yards and a touchdown.

"We had a problem getting him down on the ground," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "We had our coverage well in the back end and he saw everybody was covered up tight and he saw a green light and kind of took off on us a couple of times and that really kind of hurt us."

Garrard became especially elusive in the fourth quarter. He converted on a pivotal fourth down to put his team at the Houston nine-yard line and set up his five-yard trip to the end zone.

"I thought the big thing when he did run, he broke some tackles, too – got out of the pocket and broke some tackles," Kubiak said.

"You've got to tackle him just like you tackle their backs, you know. But the young man is coming of age and is very impressive."

Garrard's play on the ground put the Texans on their heels, causing them to miss their gaps and put less pressure on the passer. The Jags finished the game with 5.6 yards per carry, which was far too high for Kubiak's liking.

"We struggled," Kubiak said. "I thought we had some chances to get them off the field. They had some big third downs.

"We have to have players step to the plate and make those plays, make those tackles, get to the quarterback. Like you said, we didn't do it. Give them credit, they did."

Red zone equals fun zone: The Texans enjoyed three trips to the red zone against the Jags and were successful on two occasions with Walter scoring on five- and eight-yard touchdown passes. The team's performance inside the 20-yard line was a vast improvement from last week when the offense went 1-for-6 at Tennessee.

The Texans also improved their third-down efficiency, ending up 9-for-13. The Jags, on the other hand, converted only 50 percent of their third downs.

"I think we had a good feel for what we're trying to get done with our protections and our routes," Schaub said. "We kept it simple as far as our concepts and stuff that we've been doing all since training camp, so guys had a real good feel of what we were trying to get done and guys were getting open and beating man coverage which was a big part of what they were playing."

Injury notes: C.C. Brown fractured his arm and will undergo surgery Monday morning. Kubiak said there is a chance that the safety could play in a cast. Rookie Dominique Barber played for Brown in the fourth quarter.

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