for this game

Rosenfels leads Texans past Bucs

Dec 9, 2007 - 10:13 PM By Andrew Ferraro PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Battered, beaten and bruised, the Houston Texans aren't going down without a fight.

Backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers to lead the Texans to a 28-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Reliant Stadium.

After losing their previous two games on the road, the playoffs are nothing more than a long shot for the oft-laughable Houston franchise.

But Rosenfels, filling in for the injured Matt Schaub, completed 27-of-36 passes for 209 yards, throwing touchdown passes to Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter and Owen Daniels to give the Texans (6-7) their second straight win at home and fourth of the season.

"Definitely, I felt more comfortable today as the starter," said Rosenfels, who will likely start Thursday when the Texans host Denver for a nationally televised game. "But I think the more you do anything, the better you get at it and the more comfortable you are. I think I got better as the game wore on, and that was tough, especially against their great defense."

"Sage is a gutsy player and I said that in front of he and all of his teammates last night," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "He is a guy that just has that drive and determination, and he wants to be a starter on this team."

Andre Johnson caught nine passes for 82 yards, and is excited about what the last three games could mean for the Texans, who need just one win to tie their franchise high (2004).

"We are banged up right now, but guys are willing to do whatever it takes to win football games," Johnson said. "We've never had a winning season around here, and with three games left that is still really possible for us."

Luke McCown started in the place of the injured Jeff Garcia for the Bucs (8-5) and completed 25-of-38 passes for 266 yards and no touchdowns.

Earnest Graham carried the ball 15 times for 61 yards and scored both of Tampa Bay's touchdowns.

"We want to, at this point, be playing playoff football," Graham said. "We played well to start the first half and the second half, but we didn't get it done. We just have to get back out there next Monday and try to improve."

It was McCown's fumble on a muffed snap that gave the Texans the ball in the red zone with a chance to put the game away in the final quarter.

Houston made the turnover count, taking a 28-14 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when Rosenfels hit Daniels in the back of the end zone.

Rosenfels fumbled twice, but he made up for it with his second multiple touchdown game of the season. He threw for four touchdowns in a loss to the Tennessee Titans on October 21.

After stopping the Bucs on a 4th-and-2 on the first drive of the game, Houston used a 12-play, 66-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead when Rosenfels hit Johnson for a 3-yard score with 3:59 left in the opening quarter.

Rosenfels fumbled on the Texans' next drive to set up Tampa Bay, which only needed five plays to even the score. Graham factored in four of the five chances and capped the short drive with a 4-yard power run into the end zone early in the second quarter.

Houston used a turnover of its own to take the lead back later in the quarter.

Bucs receiver Ike Hilliard fumbled after taking a vicious hit by Will Demps, giving the Texans the ball on Tampa Bay's 23-yard line.

The Texans needed just three plays to take the lead, capping the drive with Rosenfels hitting Walter from 8 yards out and Walter stretching the ball just over the goal line for the 14-7 advantage.

The Texans extended their lead to 21-7 when Andre Davis returned the second-half opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. For Davis, it was the second kickoff return for a touchdown in his career.

"That was huge," Kubiak said. "Before the game we talked about needing a big special teams play somewhere in the game and we got one right there."

While playing for Cleveland in 2002, he ran one back from 95 yards against the Houston Texans.

Graham got the Bucs back in the game when he capped a four-play, 69 yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown. Alex Smith caught a 31-yard pass from McCown to get that drive started.

The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for Tampa Bay, which still owns a comfortable lead as the only over-.500 team in the NFC South. The Bucs could have clinched a playoff berth with a win sunday and a loss by the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

"We're going to take care of all those scenarios later," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said. "We just didn't play well enough to win today. The goal is not necessarily to qualify for the playoffs, but to win a championship. But we have to play better than we did today to do that."

Mario Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in 2006, also got in on the act for the Texans, who played arguably their best defensive game of the season. Williams recorded a sack for the fourth straight game, becoming just the second player in team history to do just that.

"I just try to get comfortable before every game and just keep it simple," Williams said. "If I get on a roll, then I am on a roll. It is what it is. We have a tough schedule - including this game - to close out the year and this was just a great win for us."






  • 30
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    NJN007 Added 5 roots

    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 5:10 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 7 7 0 14
    HOUSTON 7 7 7 7 28 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: HST - TD, ANDRE JOHNSON 4 YD PASS FROM SAGE
    ROSENFELS (KRIS BROWN KICK), 11:01.
    Drive: 12 plays, 66 yards in 6:19.
    Key plays: Rosenfels 10-yard pass
    to Walter to Tampa Bay 49;
    Rosenfels 15-y

    Dec 9 3:52 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    OWEN DANIELS 4 YD PASS FROM SAGE ROSENFELS
    (KRIS BROWN KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 14
    HOUSTON 28 14:56 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 3:15 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 7 7 14
    HOUSTON 7 7 7 21 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: HST - TD, ANDRE JOHNSON 4 YD PASS FROM SAGE
    ROSENFELS (KRIS BROWN KICK), 11:01.
    Drive: 12 plays, 66 yards in 6:19.
    Key plays: Rosenfels 10-yard pass
    to Walter to Tampa Bay 49;
    Rosenfe

    Dec 9 3:12 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    EARNEST GRAHAM 11 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 14
    HOUSTON 21 12:38 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 2:39 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    ANDRE DAVIS 97 YD KICKOFF RETURN
    (C.C. BROWN KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 7
    HOUSTON 21 14:46 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 2:33 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 7 7
    HOUSTON 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: HST - TD, ANDRE JOHNSON 4 YD PASS FROM SAGE
    ROSENFELS (KRIS BROWN KICK), 11:01.
    Drive: 12 plays, 66 yards in 6:19.
    Key plays: Rosenfels 10-yard pass
    to Walter to Tampa Bay 49;
    Rosenfels 1

    Dec 9 2:18 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    KEVIN WALTER 8 YD PASS FROM SAGE ROSENFELS
    (KRIS BROWN KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 7
    HOUSTON 14 4:38 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 2:00 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    EARNEST GRAHAM 4 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 7
    HOUSTON 7 10:57 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 1:43 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    HOUSTON 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: HST - TD, ANDRE JOHNSON 4 YD PASS FROM SAGE
    ROSENFELS (KRIS BROWN KICK), 11:01.
    Drive: 12 plays, 66 yards in 6:19.
    Key plays: Rosenfels 10-yard pass
    to Walter to Tampa Bay 49;
    Rosenfe

    Dec 9 1:31 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    ANDRE JOHNSON 4 YD PASS FROM SAGE ROSENFELS
    (KRIS BROWN KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 0
    HOUSTON 7 3:59 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 1:19 PM
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    Buccaneers vs. TexansDec 9 11:25 AM
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    Buccaneers vs. TexansSep 23 11:59 PM