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Houston Texans

Texans-Packers postgame notebook


The Texans visited Lambeau Field for the first time to play the coldest game in franchise history with temperatures dipping to 3 degrees with a minus 3 windchill. But the freezing conditions didn't dishearten Houston as they kicked a last-second field goal to pull out a 24-21 win over the Packers.

Air game delivers: Matt Schaub returned to the huddle after missing the last four games with a knee injury. The quarterback didn't skip a beat, completing 28 of 42 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns.

Schaub spread the wealth and picked apart the Packers' pass defense, which ranked fifth in the league going into the game. Green Bay's man coverage couldn't account contain wideout Kevin Walter, who finished with six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. It was Walter's eighth touchdown of the season.

Tight end Owen Daniels racked up 65 yards, including a 27-yard catch on second-and-6 in the final drive of the game.

"We are becoming a very well-balanced team," Schaub said. "Our offensive line is really coming together. They are playing extremely well, so we are getting the running game going and the passing game going. We are really starting to come together and come into our own."

Wide receiver Andre Johnson finished with four catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. His biggest play of the game came on a two-point conversion to put the Texans ahead 21-14 in the fourth quarter. When Johnson saw running back Steve Slaton go the wrong way on a rollout, he cut across the back of end zone and made a spectacular grab before falling out of bounds.

"We actually busted the play, ran the wrong play," coach Gary Kubiak said. "Slaton ran the wrong play. Matt kept the play alive and Andre came across the field and made a great play."

{QUOTE}Fullback Vonta Leach also delivered a clutch performance. On second-and-7 at Houston's six-yard line, Leach caught a short pass from Schaub and ran it up the sidelines 22 yards.

"We had a play action pass and we had Andre (Johnson) deep and they covered him, so I had Vonta," Schaub said. "I wasn't expecting to get him open because they play man coverage, and he happened to slip out to the flat. I just tried to put it on him, but it kind of took off on me a little bit. He was able to get one hand on it and pulled it in.

"The freight train, the 'Coke machine' we call him, turned down that sideline and ran a few guys over. That was the play of the game in my opinion, because it gave us the opportunity to go on that two-minute drive to get that field goal."

Defense does its job: The Texans' defense came up huge for a third consecutive game, holding the Packers to 1-of-10 on third downs and allowing just 108 yards rushing. They forced one turnover on an interception by Dunta Robinson, which was his second of the season.

"We played in spurts this season, but I think that guys are now understanding what kind of team we are," Robinson said. "The only thing that is acceptable is winning. That's all we want to do now. And like I said, we just want to continue to build on this."

Tim Bulman and DeMeco Ryans registered sacks on pivotal downs. Bulman took down Rogers on third-and-5 for a seven-yard loss to force Green Bay to punt the ball. Ryans' sack for a nine-yard loss came on second-and-17 in the fourth quarter with about three minutes left in the game.

"We had a blitz with me and the defensive back coming up the middle and we made the center pick one of us," Ryans said. "I looked up at the clock and there was like three seconds left and I knew he had to snap the ball, so I just timed it up. He slid to the defensive back, so I was clean to take him down."

More importantly, the sack helped keep the Packers out of field goal territory

"I was just watching the play and I saw him hit that line of scrimmage, timed it out real well," Schaub said. "He was able to get through there, and that was a huge play because it knocked them out of field goal range."

Brown right on target: Kicker Kris Brown nailed his 11th career game-winning field goal when he hit a 40-yarder as time expired to give the Texans a 24-21 win.

Brown was working with a new long snapper, Clark Harris, who had replaced Bryan Pittman. It was Harris' first NFL game, but he played like a seasoned veteran.

"I have to definitely mention him because he came in and snapped the ball great today, which is not an easy thing to do," Brown said. "I think a lot of times people overlook how important a snap and hold really is, how difficult a job it is and how easy it makes my job."

Brown booted in a 30-yard field goal midway through the second quarter but missed a kick wide right just before halftime.

"The miss was one of those things that I didn't hit to my target," Brown said. "I just kind of pushed it a little bit. I came back out before halftime and got a couple kicks in. It was nice that we were able to get an attempt early in the third quarter, so I could put that out of my mind. I hit that one really well. So from that point on, I said, 'You know, Kris, trust your target and just kick the ball to your target.'"

The target that Brown had been aiming for was a Miller Lite advertisement.

In the third quarter, Brown rebounded to make a 41-yard field goal and then found his target with four seconds left in the game as kicked in the game winner.

"Anytime you have a game-winning kick, it is special," Brown said. "I was thinking this week coming to this place that as a football player, this place is hallowed ground. The greatest players that have played in this game have played at Lambeau Field. To come here and have a win like this as a team and do it like we did – I mean, we had to overcome some serious adversity, but we stuck together and nobody ever thought for a second that we weren't going to win the game. And to be able to go out there and have a kick like that, for me, it's hard to put into words."
Slaton reaches a new millennium: Running back Steve Slaton set team records at football's hallowed Lambeau Field, going for over 1,000 yards for the season with a five-yard gain in the third quarter.

The rookie rushed for 120 yards on 26 carries and topped 100 rushing yards for the second consecutive game and the fourth time this season, tying him with running back Domanick Williams for the team record.

"It means a lot," Slaton said. "Of course, I have to thank the my o-line, the receivers and my fullback. Without them, this wouldn't be possible for me."

Slaton hit holes and made plays between the tackles. Per usual, he broke free for a big play – this one coming when he hit a hole and ran for 34 yards in the first quarter.

"They were opening up big holes, which is what we were working on all week," Slaton said about the offensive line. "We knew that we were going to be able to gash them a little bit, and it was true."

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