Texans ride defense to win over Chiefs
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[September 19, 2016]
HOUSTON -- Texans quarterback
Brock Osweiler and his Houston offensive teammates were doing just
enough Sunday that any small measure of extra productivity proved
more than sufficient to complement yet another stellar defensive
Carried by a stifling defense and aided by a staunch commitment to
running the ball, the Texans extended their regular-season winning
streak to five games with a 19-12 victory over the Kansas City
Chiefs at NRG Stadium.
The Texans (2-0) limited Kansas City (1-1) to 291 yards, with the
Chiefs only eclipsing the 200-yard plateau deep into the fourth
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith passed for 186 yards, was sacked four
times and averaged 5.0 yards per attempt. Kansas City managed just
two trips into the red zone and found the sledding tough offensively
against a defense that forced three turnovers and flew to the
"With all those turnovers and penalties (nine for 77 yards), you
can't settle for four field goals in a game like this. You've got to
find a way to get in the end zone," Smith said.
"They did a bunch of different stuff today. They had a good plan.
Even when there were opportunities, we didn't even do our part. We
left a lot out there."
Despite averaging just 2.9 yards per rush, the Texans remained true
to the ground game with 34 attempts. They were a second shy of 34
minutes in time of possession, including 10:49 in the fourth quarter
to thwart any potential Kansas City rallies.
While setting up Nick Novak field goals of 31 and 43 yards in the
fourth quarter, the Texans exhausted 10 minutes off the clock and
covered 96 yards in 22 plays.
"They did a great job," Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said. "When
they run off so much of that clock in the fourth quarter, it really
doesn't give them a chance to get the ball back and get in a
Shut out at home 30-0 by the Chiefs in the wild-card round of the
2015 playoffs, the Texans didn't exactly get their offense rolling
in the third meeting between the teams since the start of last
But Novak converted four field goals and the Houston defense made a
27-yard touchdown pass from Osweiler to receiver DeAndre Hopkins
with 8:01 left in the first quarter stand. That lone touchdown
followed the first Chiefs turnover.
Osweiler passed for 268 yards but also threw two interceptions, both
to Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters. Texans running back Lamar
Miller, on the heels of a career-high 28 carries last week against
the Chicago Bears, rushed 25 times for 83 yards.
The Texans attempted 33 passes to strike an offensive balance that,
while not always efficient, proved effective enough working in
concert with the rabid defense.
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Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) celebrates after recovering a
fumble during the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at
NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
"We have a good running game, we think," Texans coach Bill O'Brien
said. "Sometimes it doesn't look great and it'll get better and
better as we go. But I thought in the fourth quarter there when we
had to have some runs, I thought our line blocked well, our tight
ends, and I thought Lamar and Alfred Blue pounded it in there."
Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos converted field goals of 53, 43, 35 and
30 yards. He was the lone bright spot for an offense that struggled
against the Texans and complicated matters with an avalanche of
"Too many penalties, dropped balls, you name it," Chiefs coach Andy
Reid said. "Three turnovers -- all these things led to points.
That's my responsibility.
"A kickoff out of bounds -- three points. You can't do that against
good football teams. That's what the Texans are."
NOTES: Chiefs PK Cairo Santos tied his career long with a 53-yard
field goal in the second quarter. ... Texans WR Braxton Miller
departed in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and did not
return. Miller caught one pass for 6 yards in his NFL debut last
week and had two touches for 1 yard on Sunday. ... Zach Fulton and
Jah Reid started at left and right guard for the Chiefs,
respectively. LG Parker Ehinger suffered a concussion in practice
last week and RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was out with a high ankle
sprain. ... DE J.J. Watt, CB Kevin Johnson and LB Whitney Mercilus
recovered first-half fumbles for Houston, marking the first time in
franchise history the Texans had three fumble recoveries in the
first half of a game.
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