Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • Tennis

Houston at San Diego

Texans overcome 21-point deficit, beat Chargers at gun

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SAN DIEGO -- Even when the Houston Texans fell behind by three touchdowns on the road in the second half of their season opener, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson remained confident they could roar right back.

Sure, the San Diego Chargers were off to a solid start for their new coach.

The veteran Texans know how to finish.

Randy Bullock kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired, and Houston rallied from a 21-point deficit in the second half for a 31-28 victory over the Chargers on Monday night.

"Once you put a score on the board, then another, and the defense gets a stop, the big turnover, it just builds," said Schaub, who bounced back from an interception on Houston's first play to pass for 346 yards. "Momentum keeps building, and you can feel that energy, and it's contagious."

Brian Cushing returned an interception 18 yards for the tying touchdown with 9:30 to play for the Texans, who erased a 28-7 deficit late in the third quarter to spoil the debut of Chargers coach Mike McCoy.

After back-to-back division titles and playoff trips, the Texans have ample experience in handling trouble together. Schaub provided steady leadership, and their vaunted defense held San Diego to 90 yards -- only 7 on the ground -- in the second half.

"There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to win that game," said Johnson, who had 12 catches for 146 yards. "Even in the third quarter, we didn't come out playing that great, but we got it together and made it happen."

While the Chargers showed promise, the Texans began a season of Super Bowl aspirations with a gritty comeback befitting a defending two-time AFC South champion club that got off to an 11-1 start last season.

Schaub recovered from that tipped interception on the first play to throw three TD passes -- two to tight end Owen Daniels -- in the final game of the NFL's opening weekend.

Philip Rivers threw four touchdown passes in a tantalizing start for the Chargers under McCoy, the offensive guru hired to revitalize a stagnant franchise. San Diego led 7-0 just 15 seconds in with a TD pass in its first play.

But Houston's veteran toughness took over: The Texans' powerful defense shut out San Diego over the final 25 minutes, and Schaub engineered the final 36-yard drive to set up Bullock, who coolly nailed his first NFL field goal.

"I expected us to be in a dogfight," Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. "I'm disappointed with the way we played early, but we did not give up. ... We were mature enough to hang in there and get the win, so we have to be mature enough to know that we didn't play very well."

San Diego's fans got a taste of McCoy's inventive offense -- and they got an agonizing reminder of last season under fired coach Norv Turner, when the Chargers blew five halftime leads. In last year's lowlight, San Diego blew a 24-0 halftime lead in its last Monday night game against McCoy's Broncos last October.

"You lose this way, and it stings a little more," Rivers said. "It's disappointing we didn't finish the game, because we had control. You've got to play all four quarters."

Ryan Mathews caught a 14-yard TD pass on San Diego's first snap, while Eddie Royal made two TD catches and Vincent Brown had another for the Chargers during an auspicious start in the first three quarters for McCoy.

"The effort was there," McCoy said. "They did a nice job. We just didn't finish it. It comes down to not finishing a football game."

Cushing came up big in his first game since missing most of last season with a knee injury and then signing a six-year, $55.6 million extension last week. Rivers' under-pressure throw was snagged by Cushing, who got up from his diving catch and rumbled into the end zone.

Schaub finally got the Texans in position for Bullock, a fifth-round draft pick last year who missed all of his first season with a groin injury.

The former Lou Groza Award winner at Texas A&M didn't miss, celebrating the kick with his new teammates and a vocal bunch of red-jerseyed fans who took over the sections behind Houston's bench.

Schaub's first pass was tipped into the air by Jarret Johnson, and 330-pound defensive tackle Cam Thomas gathered it in. The San Diego crowd was still cheering when Rivers threw down the Houston sideline to Mathews, who dived in for a score.

"We've just got to keep the pedal down," Mathews said. "You can see we can put up points, and our defense is looking great."

After Brown made a spectacular diving play for a touchdown with 26 seconds left in the first half, Rivers went right back to work after halftime, moving the Chargers 80 yards for a short scoring pass to Royal and a 28-7 lead. The Texans finally responded with a long drive capped by Garrett Graham's TD catch.

Houston got another boost early in the fourth quarter when Thomas got a 10-yard penalty during a field-goal attempt for unnecessary roughness against Houston's center, giving a first down to the Texans on a new rule for this season. Daniels caught his second TD pass on the next play from 9 yards on the next snap, cutting San Diego's lead to seven points with 14:44 to play.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Latest Video

September 14, 2014
Texans at Raiders booth recap (1:54)
1 September 7, 2014
Redskins at Texans recap
(2:33)
2 July 30, 2014
Jim Rome Newsmaker: Mike McCoy
(1:53)
3 July 30, 2014
Mike McCoy talks Chargers training camp
(1:05)
Mon. Sept. 9Final
Houston
(1-0)
7071731
7147028
TexansChargers
Pass: M. Schaub (34-45, 346) P. Rivers (14-29, 195)
Rush: A. Foster (18-57) R. Mathews (13-33)
Rec: A. Johnson (12-146) A. Gates (2-49)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDRyan Mathews catches a 14 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nick Novak kick is good). Drive: 1 play, 14 yards in 0:05.
TDOwen Daniels catches a 1 yard pass from Matt Schaub (Randy Bullock kick is good). Drive: 10 plays, 71 yards in 5:51.
2ND QUARTER
TDEddie Royal catches a 6 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nick Novak kick is good). Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards in 5:47.
TDVincent Brown catches a 10 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nick Novak kick is good). Drive: 8 plays, 59 yards in 1:43.
3RD QUARTER
TDEddie Royal catches a 1 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nick Novak kick is good). Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards in 4:18.
TDGarrett Graham catches a 7 yard pass from Matt Schaub (Randy Bullock kick is good). Drive: 11 plays, 70 yards in 5:45.
4TH QUARTER
TDOwen Daniels catches a 9 yard pass from Matt Schaub (Randy Bullock kick is good). Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards in 3:46.
TDBrian Cushing makes an 18 yard interception return (Randy Bullock kick is good).
FGRandy Bullock makes a 41 yard kick. Drive: 9 plays, 38 yards in 3:53.
Players of the Game
San Diego

P. Rivers
Att 29
Comp 14
Yds 195
TD 4
Oakland

M. Schaub
Att 45
Comp 34
Yds 346
TD 3
 
Houston
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
M. Schaub34/4534631
RushingATTYDSTDLG
A. Foster185709
B. Tate955014
S. Keo1808
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
A. Johnson12146027
O. Daniels567228
D. Hopkins566030
A. Foster63308
G. Graham427112
B. Tate2704
San Diego
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
P. Rivers14/2919541
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Mathews133308
R. Brown527012
P. Rivers118018
L. McClain1202
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
A. Gates249034
M. Floyd147047
R. Brown224015
E. Royal324217
R. Mathews222114
D. Woodhead216011
V. Brown213110
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
BAL 27 Final
DEN 49
NE 23 Final
BUF 21
SEA 12 Final
CAR 7
CIN 21 Final
CHI 24
MIA 23 Final
CLE 10
MIN 24 Final
DET 34
OAK 17 Final
IND 21
KC 28 Final
JAC 2
ATL 17 Final
NO 23
TB 17 Final
NYJ 18
TEN 16 Final
PIT 9
GB 28 Final
SF 34
ARI 24 Final
STL 27
NYG 31 Final
DAL 36
PHI 33 Final
WAS 27