Final Score: Houston 17, Pittsburgh 10
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Arian Foster ran for 155 yards, including the
go-ahead 42-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter, leading the Houston
Texans to a 17-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Reliant Stadium.
Foster was back in the lineup after missing two of the first three games this
season because of a hamstring injury. He had just 33 yards on 10 carries in
his lone previous action -- a Week 2 win against Miami -- and on Sunday
demonstrated the form that made him last year's NFL rushing champion.
The Texans (3-1) bounced back from last week's loss at New Orleans and did so
with a balanced offense that sputtered initially when star receiver Andre
Johnson went down late in the second quarter with what appeared to be a
hamstring injury. Johnson caught four passes for 36 yards before leaving the
field on a play in which he was not hit. He was in street clothes on the
sideline in the second half.
"There is going down, and then there is going down. The way he went down was
deflating because it was like he just got shot so that scares the heck out of
you," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "We were playing well as a football team
and we had two and a half quarters of football left to play. It's very
difficult. He's the leader of this team and has been a leader of this
franchise for a long time. Now if we have to go without him for a period we're
going to have to really ask some guys to step to the plate."
Matt Schaub complemented Foster's big day with a 14-for-21, 138-yard passing
effort and Houston won despite a number of costly penalties that negated a
Pittsburgh fumble in its own territory, a blocked field goal that was returned
for a touchdown and an interception that was run back for a score.
"This is a new year and we're trying to set that precedent," Foster said.
"We're going to continue to try to make other people believe that."
Ben Roethlisberger completed 16-of-30 passes for 206 yards with an
interception for the Steelers (2-2), who had beaten Seattle and Indianapolis
after a humbling 35-7 loss to Baltimore in the opener.
Roethlisberger hurt his left foot in the fourth quarter and was given an x-ray
after the game, but there were no results.
The Texans had just one offensive series, a three-and-out, in a third quarter
dominated by Pittsburgh. The Steelers scored 10 points on two drives and tied
the game with a field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter, but
Houston answered with a quick strike to regain the lead.
Owen Daniels caught a nine-yard pass to convert 3rd-and-6, scooping Schaub's
low throw off the turf, then hauled in a perfect throw for a 30-yard gain to
set up Foster's 42-yard scoring run for a 17-10 lead with just over 12 minutes
"I don't think a sense of urgency or lack of a sense of urgency is the issue,"
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I think fundamental football is, better
blocking, better tackling."
The Houston defense then stepped up and didn't allow the Steelers to cross
their own 26 on two subsequent possessions, sacking Roethlisberger three times
in that span, but a 33-yard punt return by Antonio Brown gave the Pittsburgh
offense another good chance.
Starting from the Houston 48 with 3:33 remaining, the Steelers gained three
yards before Roethlisberger threw incomplete on third down and had a fourth-
down pass tipped at the line of scrimmage before falling harmlessly to the
The Texans were unable to run off the final 2 1/2 minutes, but a punt pinned
the Steelers at their own one-yard line with 62 seconds to play. A roughing
the passer penalty wiped out a game-sealing interception return for a
touchdown by Johnathan Joseph and Roethlisberger had the Steelers at their own
40 before a deep pass was picked off by Jason Allen at the Houston 11 in the
Houston's penalty problems began on the opening kickoff, as a holding call
forced the Texans to start from their own five-yard line. Schaub was
undeterred by the long field and orchestrated a 19-play march for a touchdown.
The nearly 11-minute series featured a trio of third-down conversions,
including a 19-yard Schaub connection with Daniels after a penalty initially
negated the pick up. Schaub and Daniels hooked up again for the score, a one-
yard pass off play-action for a 7-0 lead.
Roethlisberger fumbled while being sacked on Pittsburgh's first possession,
but a Houston penalty for illegal contact wiped out the turnover that would
have given the Texans the ball at the Steeler 37.
Houston managed to extend its lead with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play in the
second quarter when Neil Rackers kicked a 25-yard field goal and Pittsburgh
was in position to answer just before the end of the half, marching from its
own 20 to the Houston 12.
Shaun Suisham's 30-yard field goal try was blocked by Danieal Manning, who
then delivered a completely unnecessary block in the back to negate Joseph's
61-yard return for a touchdown on the final play of the half.
The Steelers regrouped at halftime and drove 74 yards on 13 plays with the
first series of the third quarter to pull within three. Rashard Mendenhall
scored on a three-yard run to finish the nearly eight-minute set.
Houston went three-and-out, and Pittsburgh marched right back down the field
for the tying field goal -- a 26-yarder by Suisham on the first play of the
Foster carried 30 times, taking on the bulk of the load after Ben Tate went
down with an apparent groin injury in the first half. Tate had 20 yards on two
carries...Roethlisberger was sacked five times overall...Ike Redman led the
Pittsburgh ground game with 40 yards on six carries, while Mendenhall finished
with 25 yards on nine attempts, but suffered a right hamstring
injury...Daniels led Houston's receivers with five catches for 69
yards...Pittsburgh's Hines Ward had just one reception for 19 yards, but
moved ahead of Don Maynard for 20th place all-time with 11,838 receiving
yards...Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison hurt his right eye during the
first half, but returned later in the second half.
10/02 19:30:11 ET
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