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Texans-Panthers postgame notebook


Johnson recorded his 19th career touchdown catch in the Texans' win against the Carolina Panthers.

Team bests: The Houston Texans clearly had to play their best football to overcome an early 14-point deficit to beat the Carolina Panthers 34-21. And when a team is playing its best, it starts recording historical franchise marks.

{QUOTE}Here's a taste of what being the best is all about. Houston is off to its first 2-0 start, the best in franchise history. The Texans reached their highest point total for a game with 34. The Texans' 34 unanswered points were the most since the team scored 28 unanswered points against Tennessee in 2004. The win was the largest comeback win on the road for the Texans and it gave the franchise its first road victory against an NFC opponent.

Naturally, head coach Gary Kubiak only had the best things to say about his team.

"It was a tremendous team victory," Kubiak said. "Anytime you walk in a visiting stadium in the league and you're sloppy early and you get down like that, it's very difficult in this league. We've got a different group. We've got a group of guys that believe in themselves – that are going to play for 60 minutes regardless of what's going on. And I think they showed that today."

The difference maker: Wide receiver Andre Johnson also racked up some outstanding stats for the record books, once again proving to be the Texans' offensive difference maker. In the first quarter, Johnson caught a 33-yard pass and then a 31-yard grab for a touchdown in the Texans' first-quarter comeback drive. The quick score changed the momentum of the entire game.

"All we knew was that someone had to make a play," Johnson said. "We put the play in, and our objective was for me to distract the safety and get Kevin (Walter) open, but I popped open. And Matt (Schaub) made a great pass. And once we made that pass, I was able to come back and make another play where Jeb (Putzier) made a pick for me and I just rubbed right off of him and ran it to the end zone. Once that happened, we just got to rolling."

Johnson rolled on to amass 120 receiving yards, proving that he is every bit as hype-worthy as Panthers Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith. Smith, who perpetually plays with a chip on his shoulder, finished the game with a 153 receiving yards and an even bigger chip on his shoulder.

Okoye's big day:Rookie defensive tackle Amobi Okoye took down Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme twice, registering the first sacks of his career. The feeling of laying out the passer brought back a flood of college memories.

"It's something I used to do in college, and now I'm doing it in the NFL," Okoye said. "So it felt great, and then it's like, it's over now. Let's go get another one. So in the next series, I just so happened to get another one."

The sacks also mean that Okoye won't have to endure the scrutiny that defensive end Mario Williams dealt with during his rookie season last year. And no one is happier about Okoye's success than Williams.

"It's kind of funny, because when Amobi got a sack, I felt like I got a sack," Williams said. "I was just so excited for him."

Kubiak was just excited that Okoye could take the field. The defensive tackle sat out of practice Thursday with a hurt toe, and was questionable for the game. The rookie assured his coach at breakfast that he was ready to go. Ready in Okoye's book apparently means thirsty for domination.

"We have something special here," Okoye said. "We really do have something special. Coming on the road and winning is a real big thing. Not just the defense, the offense and the special teams is a real balanced thing. I just hope we keep on doing things like this. That's what we plan on doing. So watch out, here come the Texans!"

Keeping the poise:Kubaik has lauded Schaub's poise since the preseason. The Panthers tried to put that poise to the test and they failed so badly they may have flunked out of the NFC.

Schaub led his troops back from a 14-0 deficit with a confidence that buoyed his receivers and running backs and made his coach proud once again.

"I thought he was tremendous," Kubiak said. "What our team was able to do being down 14 points and not lose any composure when you play all day- that to me is a reflection of your quarterback keeping everybody calm on the football field."

Johnson felt exactly the same way.

"He doesn't panic, and I think by him not panicking it's rubbing off on us," Johnson said. "Before we'd go down 14 points early in the game, in the past years the games were over. The games were pretty much over when we'd go down 14 points. Now everyone comes on the sidelines, saying, 'Hey, we're fine. We've got a lot of football left. Make the corrections.' And before we know it, we're back up."

This quarterback doesn't let the praise go to his head. Instead, he spreads the wealth off the field like he does on the turf.

"I feel like we have a lot of good players and a lot guys stepping up in crucial situations to provide our team with a spark," Schaub said. "And that's what it's going to take to win. It's not going to be one guy. It's going to be 53 guys going out and executing their jobs on offense, defense or special teams."

Injury Report:Defensive tackle Travis Johnson sat out the game with a severe ankle sprain...veteran Jeff Zgonina started in his place...Johnson left the game early with a knee sprain.

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