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Rams 38, Texans 13

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The St. Louis Rams took full advantage of the error-prone Houston Texans on Sunday, rolling to a 38-13 win at Reliant Stadium.

After greasing the skids to a 17-6 halftime deficit with 95 first-half penalty yards, the Texans (2-4) handed the Rams (3-3) two touchdowns on turnovers. Houston entered the game minus-8 in turnover margin and those misfortunes continued in its fourth consecutive loss.

Second-year return specialist Keshawn Martin, previously benched in favor of veteran Danieal Manning because of poor performance, was stripped on a kickoff return by Rams safety Rodney McLeod after St. Louis capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a Sam Bradford touchdown pass to Brian Quick that built the lead to 24-6 with 7:42 left in the third quarter.

Rams linebacker Daren Bates snatched the Martin fumble out of midair and rambled 11 yards for a touchdown and a 31-6 Rams lead.

With 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Rams rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree returned a T.J. Yates fourth-down pass 98 yards for a score.

Yates, in for injured starter Matt Schaub, continued an ignominious streak for Houston. Schaub threw a pick-six in four consecutive games.

The Rams mustered just 216 yards of offense, but Bradford threw three scoring passes to three different receivers. The first two Rams scoring drives were aided in part by Houston penalties.

Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson was flagged for a 40-yard pass interference penalty on the Rams' second possession, a drive capped by a Bradford-to-Corey Harkey 2-yard touchdown.

Late in the second quarter, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing received a personal foul penalty for a late hit on Bradford. Four plays later, Bradford found Lance Kendricks for a score.

With 3:15 left in the game, Ben Tate scored on a 1-yard plunge for the Texans' first touchdown since the first half of their 23-20 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 29. Before Tate found the end zone, Houston had been outscored 92-12 in the previous 10 quarters, including overtime against Seattle.

NOTES: Schaub departed with a lower right leg injury after being sacked by Rams DE Chris Long with 3:49 left in the third quarter. Houston fans cheered while Schaub, the focal point of recent derision, writhed in pain on the turf and then delivered an ovation when backup quarterback T.J. Yates entered in relief. ... With his 23-yard run early in the second quarter, Texans running back Arian Foster eclipsed 5,000 career rushing yards in his 57th game, matching Emmitt Smith as the 13th fastest to do so. ... After rushing for a Rams season-high 78 yards last week, rookie Zac Stacy rushed for 79 yards on 18 carries while making his second career start.
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