Foster totals 234 yards as Texans rout Titans 41-7By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer Monday, Oct 24, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Gary Kubiak and the Houston Texans found out how good they can be when they stick with the run. Now they get to see how they play as frontrunners.
Arian Foster(notes) became the first Texan to run for 100 yards and have 100 yards receiving in the same game, and he scored three touchdowns as Houston routed the Tennessee Titans 41-7 on Sunday for the largest margin of victory in franchise history.
The win also snapped a two-game skid for the Texans (4-3) and moved them back ahead of the Titans (3-3) in the AFC South.
“We’re in first-place, so it’s a great feeling for us,” Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans(notes) said. “We’re all excited about this, and we have a lot of ball left and we’re just looking forward to building off of this.”
Foster finished with 115 yards on 25 carries and two TDs on runs of 1 and 5 yards, and he had 119 yards receiving with a 78-yard TD. Ben Tate(notes) also ran for 104 yards, giving the Texans two backs topping 100 yards in the same game for the first time. Houston wound up running 47 times for 222 yards, and Kubiak credited offensive coordinator Rick Dennison with keeping them committed to running the ball.
“I should say keeping me committed along the way too,” Kubiak said. “It paid off from that standpoint.”
Tennessee wasted the half-game lead picked up when Houston lost during its bye week, and now the Titans are searching for answers all across the field. Chris Johnson was held to 18 yards on 10 carries, and the Texans outgained Tennessee 518-148 on offense. The Titans missed tackles and committed too many penalties in a performance that had fans booing loudly before they gave up and headed to the exits.
“Obviously, we’re not happy with the product we put on the field (Sunday),” Munchak said. “It’s on all of us, coaches, players, that’s not us. That can’t be us and we’ve got to improve.”
Matt Schaub(notes) threw for 296 yards and two TDs, and Houston won in Nashville for the second time in three years. The Texans punted on their first two drives before scoring on six of the next seven possessions to erase any worries of blowing a second-half lead for a third straight week. The defense even got into the act as Brice McCain(notes) returning Houston’s second interception 38 yards for a TD, and Houston also had two sacks.
But Schaub called the running game special against Tennessee.
“It was something to watch to see those holes opening up and see what they were able to do in the open field. Gusy were working,” Schaub said.
The big play for the Texans came when Schaub rolled back to his right with his teammates moving to the left. He threw back across to Foster who ran 78 yards for a TD that tied the franchise long.
“We were able to sneak Arian down the far sideline, and then it was all him after the catch,” Schaub said.
And Foster said he still doesn’t feel like he’s in football shape as he works back from his hamstring injury.
“It wasn’t just me. It was a collective effort,” Foster said of his strong day.
The Titans have yet to figure out how to get Johnson going after he missed the preseason before signing his $53 million extension. Johnson said he was frustrated with the running struggles and that those who know football can tell what the problems are. He said he’s very confident he’s doing what he’s been asked to do.”
“It’s just a situation I got to continue to say I can’t do nothing but keep working hard, running hard and doing what I can do for this team,” Johnson said.
Going no-huddle with Javon Ringer(notes) in for Johnson helped the Titans avoid the shutout, and Matt Hasselbeck(notes) capped the drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Jared Cook(notes) on a 5-yard TD on fourth-and-goal with 5:34 left in the third.
It wasn’t nearly enough, and rookie Jake Locker(notes) replaced Hasselbeck with 9:32 left after his second interception. The eighth pick overall got his first NFL completion on a 12-yard toss to Lavelle Hawkins(notes).
NOTES: Houston’s 41 points were the second-most scored in team history, behind only the 42 points scored vs. Jacksonville on Dec. 30, 2007. It was the most ever in a road game by the Texans. … The Texans beat Cincinnati by 29 on Oct. 26, 2008, in the previous largest margin of victory. … The 518 yards total offense were the third-most in Texans’ history. … The Titans now are 13-10 after byes. … Titans WR Damian Williams(notes) had a headache after hitting the ground at the end of a long pass incompletion in the second quarter. He didn’t return.