Schaub, Williams shine for Houston in 19-16 lossAug 15, 2010 - 4:21 AM By BOB BAUM AP Sports Writer
GLENDALE, Ariz.(AP) -- Matt Schaub was excellent, Mario Williams was rusty but disruptive.
The Houston Texans had little to complain about in their preseason opener at Arizona. Except, perhaps, the final score.
Schaub completed 5 of 6 passes for 78 yards, directing Houston to a field goal on its first possession and throwing a 44-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson on the second before retiring for good in a 19-16 preseason loss to the Cardinals on Saturday night.
"I thought we were sharp," Schaub said, "on top of our stuff that we were executing."
Rookie John Skelton, whose uncle Javier Loya is a minority owner of the Texans, directed two late touchdown drives against the Houston reserves to give Arizona the victory.
Williams, battling a hip problem, sacked Leinart twice as Houston took a 16-0 lead. In Arizona's first series, Williams pushed the Cardinals' new starting right tackle Brandon Keith all the way into the quarterback.
"I don't care what anybody says, there ain't nothing wrong with his hip," Keith said.
But Williams, in fact, has been slowed by the injury.
"I felt like I wasn't as smooth as I wanted to be but that is pretty much because I haven't played, haven't hit anybody, hadn't put any pads on," he said. "I will work it out. I will work the kinks out. It is still day by day."
Leinart completed 6 of 7 for 49 yards but, in addition to the sacks, misconnected with Tim Hightower on a handoff, for a fumble. He didn't stick around for the usual starting quarterback post-game news conference.
Leinart's backup, former Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson, threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Beanie Wells but was intercepted twice.
"Too sloppy," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said at halftime.
Asked about Leinart's play, Whisenhunt targeted the entire first-team offense.
"I'm not pleased with how our offense performed in general," he said. "It's not so much the quarterback. We had guys the wrong routes, guys in the wrong spot. We had a protection breakdown, not a breakdown but we got beat. All things that we've got to clean up."
Skelton, a fifth-round draft pick out of Fordham, connected with Jason Wright on a 15-yard pass play with 1:53 left for the deciding score. The 6-foot-5 Skelton completed 5 of 6 passes for 84 yards. Max Hall, the undrafted rookie from BYU who is fighting Skelton for the No. 3 quarterback spot, didn't play.
"It's a different world coming from Fordham," Skelton said, "and to make a step like that is very significant, actually. Being a rookie, fighting for a position on the team, every play counts. I just tried to take advantage of it."
The Texans chose not to go for a game-tying 51-yard field goal at the finish.
"Our ones were very sharp. I thought they looked really good," Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. "I thought defensively we played really good all night long. ... There are a lot of positives to draw from and we have to draw from those and find a way to give the younger guys something better to work with so they can be successful. They really struggled."
Houston backup Dan Orlovsky got extended playing time, completing 12 of 21 for 129 yards with no interceptions. He directed a 15-play, 86-yard drive that consumed 7:48 of the third quarter. It ended with Kris Brown's second field goal of the game, a 26-yarder that put Houston up 16-0.
Schaub, who led the NFL in yards passing last season with 4,770, opened the game with a 10-play, 53-yard drive, culminated by Brown's 31-yard field goal. On Houston's second possession, Schaub connected with a wide-open Johnson, whose fake had left Arizona cornerback Justin Miller helplessly in his wake.
Arizona's first possession went nowhere. Leinart and Hightower messed up a handoff for a fumble that loss 11 yards, then Leinart was sacked by Williams for a 12-yard loss. The next time the Cardinals had it, Leinart drove them from their own 21 to the Houston 32, but Jay Feely's 50-yard field goal try was wide right.
Arian Foster started at running back ahead of Steve Slaton for Houston and gained 31 yards in four carries. Slaton rushed 10 times for 22 yards and fumbled the ball into the end zone at the goal line. Arizona recovered for a touchback.
Notes: Former Cardinals K Neil Rackers, listed as Brown's backup, kicked a 24-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the first half. ... Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald took a nasty hit from safety Eugene Wilson as he caught a 16-yard pass from Leinart but stayed in the game. ... Arizona second-round draft pick Daryl Washington strengthened his bid for a starting job at inside linebacker with a solid performance. ... Houston rookie RB Ben Tate has an injured ankle but Kubiak didn't know how serious it might be.
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
HOUSTON 10 3 3 0 16
ARIZONA 0 0 0 19 19 FINAL
1ST QUARTER: HST - FG, KRIS BROWN 31 YD, 5:19.
HST - TD, ANDRE JOHNSON 44 YD PASS FROM
MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN
KICK), 8:14. HOUSTON 10-0
2ND QUARTER: HST - FG, NEIL RACKERS 24 Y
Aug 14 11:02 PM
ARIZONA 19 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Aug 14 11:02 PM
ARIZONA 19 1:53 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Texans 16, Cardinals 19 4th - 1:53Aug 14 10:53 PM
ALFONSO SMITH 6 YD RUN
(TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
ARIZONA 12 6:05 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Texans 16, Cardinals 12 4th - 6:05Aug 14 10:40 PM
BEANIE WELLS 2 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
(TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
ARIZONA 6 8:30 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Texans 16, Cardinals 6 4th - 8:30Aug 14 10:26 PM
ARIZONA 0 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR
Aug 14 10:14 PM
NEIL RACKERS 26 YD
ARIZONA 0 0:54 LEFT, 3RD QTR
Texans 16, Cardinals 0 3rd - 0:54Aug 14 10:08 PM
ARIZONA 0 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Aug 14 9:24 PM
NEIL RACKERS 24 YD
ARIZONA 0 0:55 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Texans 13, Cardinals 0 2nd - 0:55Aug 14 9:18 PM
ARIZONA 0 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Aug 14 8:41 PM
ARIZONA 0 6:46 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Texans 10, Cardinals 0 1st - 6:46Aug 14 8:28 PM
KRIS BROWN 31 YD
ARIZONA 0 10:24 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Texans 3, Cardinals 0 1st - 10:24Aug 14 8:19 PM
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