Texans
Dolphins
27 - 20 Final
  for this game

Texans start fast, beat Dolphins 27-20

Dec 27, 2009 - 10:51 PM By STEVEN WINE AP Sports Writer

MIAMI(AP) -- When it mattered most, the Houston Texans performed like a playoff team - which they might yet be.

The Miami Dolphins played like a team going nowhere, which is likely the case.

With both teams seeking to stay alive in the AFC playoff race, the Texans scored on their first five possession Sunday and survived Miami's comeback to win 27-20.

The Texans (8-7) built a 27-0 lead and won despite being outscored 20-0 in the final 31 minutes. They kept alive their slim hopes of making the playoffs for the first time.

"That's why we're here - to take this franchise to the next level," said Matt Schaub, who threw for 286 yards and two early scores. "All we can do is control what we do, and that's what we did today."

The defending AFC East champion Dolphins (7-8) were all but eliminated, and given the stakes, they seemed shockingly listless at the outset. The ball bounced off Dolphins receivers, Texans bounced off Miami tacklers, and Schaub repeatedly found receivers wide open.

"It's unacceptable for us to play like this when the season is on the line," Miami running back Ricky Williams said.

Boos began midway through the first quarter, and the Texans made sure the jeers grew louder. At one point Houston enjoyed advantages of 15-2 in first downs and 307-46 in yards.

"It's almost as if you can call any play and it's going to work," Schaub said.

Miami linebacker Jason Taylor stood in front of the bench screaming at teammates, and maybe the rant helped. The Dolphins rallied, and a field goal cut the deficit to 27-20 with 2:30 left before Houston recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock.

The Dolphins' comeback might have been complete if not for a tripping penalty on Lousaka Polite, which negated a 62-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Ted Ginn Jr. in the third quarter.

"We dug ourselves too big a hole," receiver Greg Camarillo said. "We had a terrible start."

Houston remained the only NFL team the Dolphins have never defeated. The Texans' other four wins in the series were decided by a field goal or less.

The result bruised more than the Dolphins' pride. They lost linebacker Channing Crowder on the second play with a right foot injury, and Williams played only one snap after hurting his right shoulder in the third quarter.

Schaub went 20 for 31 and directed an offense that netted 406 yards, topping 400 for a franchise-record third game in a row. Andre Johnson scored once and made five catches for 71 yards for his second consecutive 1,500-yard season.

The victory left the Texans on the verge of their first winning season. They play host to New England in the regular-season finale next Sunday.

"That's why I came here - to get this team and this organization in position like this," fourth-year coach Gary Kubiak said.

A gamble by Kubiak contributed to the Texans' fast start. With a fourth-and-1 at the Miami 10, he decided against a field-goal try, and Johnson made the move pay off with a touchdown catch to cap an 80-yard drive for a 10-0 lead.

"It was a gutsy call," Johnson said. "We have to have the coach's back by converting. If we don't convert it, everybody will talk bad about him."

Then came a 94-yard drive capped by another TD, with Jacoby Jones juking a defender to turn a short pass into a 44-yard score. That made it 17-0 as the boos grew louder.

"The fans deserved better today," coach Tony Sparano said. "Not the type of game that we wanted to play."

When a pass deflected off Williams' shoulder pads, Brian Cushing intercepted, and three plays later Arian Foster scored untouched up the middle on a 17-yard run for a 24-0 lead.

"It just seemed like everything was working for us, no matter what we did," Johnson said.

That changed in the second half. On the sideline, Johnson hid his head under a towel as the Dolphins rallied with scoring drives of 61, 79, 74 and 58 yards.

With Williams sidelined, Lex Hilliard scored on a 2-yard run and a 10-yard pass from Henne. But Houston held on.

"We labeled this game as the biggest game of the franchise's history," Texans tackle Duane Brown said. "We took the wind out of them quick."

Notes: Dolphins G Justin Smiley left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. ... Houston S Dominique Barber (hamstring) left in the second half. ... Johnson joined Marvin Harrison in 2001-02 as the only players with consecutive 1,500-yard receiving seasons. ... Houston set a team mark for road victories in a season with five.






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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HOUSTON 10 17 0 0 27
    MIAMI 0 3 7 10 20 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: HST - FG, KRIS BROWN 49 YD, 3:13.
    HOUSTON 3-0
    HST - TD, ANDRE JOHNSON 10 YD PASS FROM
    MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN
    KICK), 12:55. HOUSTON 10-0
    2ND QUARTER: HST - TD, JACOBY JONES 44

    Dec 27 3:10 PM


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    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 20 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Dec 27 3:10 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HOUSTON 10 17 0 0 27
    MIAMI 0 3 7 10 20 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: HST - FG, KRIS BROWN 49 YD, 3:13.
    HOUSTON 3-0
    HST - TD, ANDRE JOHNSON 10 YD PASS FROM
    MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN
    KICK), 12:55. HOUSTON 10-0
    2ND QUARTER: HST - TD, JACOBY JONES 44

    Dec 27 3:10 PM


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    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 20 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Dec 27 3:10 PM


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    FG MIA
    DAN CARPENTER 38 YD
    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 20 2:35 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Texans 27, Dolphins 20  4th - 2:35Dec 27 3:02 PM
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    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 17 9:25 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Texans 27, Dolphins 17  4th - 9:25Dec 27 2:39 PM


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    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 10 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Dec 27 2:26 PM


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    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 10 10:10 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Texans 27, Dolphins 10  3rd - 10:10Dec 27 1:57 PM


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    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 3 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Dec 27 1:31 PM
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    FG MIA
    DAN CARPENTER 27 YD
    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 3 0:07 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Texans 27, Dolphins 3  2nd - 0:12Dec 27 1:28 PM


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    FG HST
    KRIS BROWN 22 YD
    HOUSTON 27
    MIAMI 0 4:25 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Texans 27, Dolphins 0  2nd - 4:29Dec 27 1:08 PM


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    HOUSTON 24
    MIAMI 0 11:44 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Texans 24, Dolphins 0  2nd - 11:44Dec 27 12:48 PM


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    HOUSTON 17
    MIAMI 0 12:41 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Texans 17, Dolphins 0  2nd - 12:41Dec 27 12:41 PM


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    HOUSTON 10
    MIAMI 0 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Dec 27 12:35 PM


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    HOUSTON 10
    MIAMI 0 2:05 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Texans 10, Dolphins 0  1st - 2:05Dec 27 12:24 PM


  • NFL
    FG HST
    KRIS BROWN 49 YD
    HOUSTON 3
    MIAMI 0 11:47 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Texans 3, Dolphins 0  1st - 11:53Dec 27 12:07 PM


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    HOUSTON 0
    MIAMI 0 15:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Texans 0, Dolphins 0  1st - 15:00Dec 27 12:03 PM
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    Texans 0, Dolphins 0  1st - 15:00Dec 27 12:03 PM
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