Texans’ defense spurs rout of Miami, 30-10By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer Monday, Sep 10, 2012
HOUSTON (AP)—Andre Johnson is not a talker.
So when Houston’s star receiver stood up and addressed his team on the importance of this season in their meeting Saturday night, the Texans took notice.
Of course, Houston’s most veteran player contributed more than just his motivational speech, finishing with 119 yards receiving and a touchdown for his 39th career 100-yard game.
Arian Foster added two scores to help the Texans get off to a solid start in a season they hope will end in the Super Bowl.
“(He) talked to his teammates about his career and what he wants to get out of his career and what this team means to him,” coach Gary Kubiak said of Johnson’s message. “I didn’t have to say a darn thing after that.”
The 31-year-old Johnson is the longest tenured player on the team and began his 10th season with Houston on Sunday. He’s coming off an injury-plagued year during which he played a season-low seven games and finished with just 492 yards receiving—the fewest of his career.
“I just told the guys that you never know when it’s going to be your last time when you’re out on the field,” Johnson said. “I told them that I don’t know what’s going to happen and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to play this game. I was just basically trying to tell them that we have a great opportunity and we have to take advantage of it.”
Matt Schaub threw for 266 yards in his first action since fracturing his right foot in Week 10 last year, and announced after the game that he had signed a four-year contract extension that will keep him here through the 2016 season.
Tannehill, the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, threw three interceptions in less than six minutes in the second quarter and the Texans made him pay for each of them.
The Dolphins were up 3-0 before Tannehill’s first miscue. Johnathan Joseph made a nifty, juggling interception and returned it 36 yards. An unnecessary roughness penalty on Mike Pouncey gave the ball to the Texans at the 7. But they couldn’t get anything going on offense and lost 10 yards before tying it at 3 with a 35-yard field goal by Shayne Graham.
Then J.J. Watt got to work, proving that missing most of camp with a dislocated left elbow didn’t slow him one bit. He deflected a pass that Brian Cushing grabbed for another interception on Miami’s next drive.
“It’s something we work on; we work on it every day in practice,” Watt said of knocking down passes at the line. “We do that ball drill. It’s something I’ve been working on since college. I know I have long arms, and you can’t get a sack every play so you might as well try to knock the ball around.”
Houston’s offense finally got rolling after that and the Texans used a 24-yard reception by Johnson on third down to keep the drive going. Foster gave Houston a 10-3 lead on a 14-yard touchdown run.
Watt did it again on Miami’s next series, batting another pass by Tannehill, and this one was intercepted by Kareem Jackson. Houston threw to Kevin Walter into the end zone on the next play and Richard Marshall was called for pass interference. That gave the Texans the ball at the 1 and Foster finished it off two plays later with his second score to push the lead to 17-3.
“Anytime you turn the ball over, you can’t be happy with yourself, regardless of how they happened,” Tannehill said. “It’s not good. You can’t turn the ball over. You put your defense in a bad situation and ultimately it led to a lot of points for them.”
Miami’s fourth straight turnover came on the first play of its next drive when Glover Quin forced a fumble by Daniel Thomas that Danieal Manning recovered. Schaub found Johnson in the corner of the end zone three plays later on a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-3 just before halftime.
Reggie Bush had 69 yards rushing and caught six passes for 46 yards for Miami.
Tannehill finished 20 of 36 for 219 yards. He made his professional debut on the same field where he played his last college game, leading Texas A&M to a 33-22 win over Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl last December.
Marcus Thigpen returned a punt 72 yards for Miami’s only touchdown. The Dolphins gained only 275 total yards.
The Dolphins took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter with a 39-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter.
Houston added two field goals in the second half to secure the win.
NOTES: Thomas left the game after his fumble. The team said he had a head injury and Miami coach Joe Philbin said after the game that he didn’t have an update on his condition. … Texans LB Tim Dobbins left with a neck injury. … The announced attendance was 71,566, the second-largest crowd for a Texans home game. The record crowd is 71,585, set against Pittsburgh last Oct. 2.
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