After falling behind by 14 points early, Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub led a Texans comeback that would come back to haunt the Carolina Panthers. A combination of efficient passing by Schaub, an improving rushing attack and some opportunistic defense made the difference as the Texans defeated the Panthers 34-21. The Texans’ victory boosted their record to 2-0, a franchise first.
The Texans in years past when they were behind by 14 or more would pack it in and call it a day. But according to Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson who caught seven passes for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns, he told the Associated Press, “Before we would go down by 14 points early, the games were over. “Now we go down by 14 points, everyone comes on the sideline and says, ‘Hey we’re fine.’ Before you knew it, we were back up.” Matt Schaub efficiently passed the ball, going 20-for-28 for 227 yards and 2 TD’s; running back Ahman Green chipped in with 71 yards and a TD.
The Panthers must feel like they were blindsided after their 27-13 victory over St. Louis last week. QB Jake Delhomme, who went 27-for-41 for 307 yards with 3 TD’s and an interception, couldn’t quite explain the 34 unanswered points by the Texans, saying, “It’s very frustrating. To start fast and all of a sudden it’s 31 unanswered points, it’s disappointing.” Panthers WR Steve Smith added, “Offensively, we’re too up and down, too inconsistent. “Reason why? I can’t tell you. I could speculate, but there’s no need to do that. Just too inconsistent.”
You can’t blame Smith for the Panthers loss today; Smith contributed 8 receptions for 153 yards and 3 scores. The Texans neutralized the Panthers’ running attack, only allowing the tandem of RB’s DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster a combined total of 53 yards. Early on, the Panthers were clicking as Delhomme and Smith connected on 2 TD’s. But Schaub responded with 2 TD passes to Johnson of his own. Hosuston led 17-14 at the half and took control of the game from the Panthers in the third quarter.
The Texans with the win elevate themselves into a tie with the Indianapolis Colts at 2-0, while the Panthers drop to 1-1. The Texans play next Sunday at Reliant Stadium where they face the Indianapolis Colts, while the Panthers visit the winless Atlanta Falcons.