The Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans actually have something in common – not much in their rushing department but make up for it in spades with superior passing. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, while obviously not Peyton Manning (heck, who is?), has save for Week 1 made a decent accounting of himself. In Houston’s game agaisnt the Cincinnati Bengals, things would not be much different.
While the Texans did run for 87 yards, it was the arm of Schaub which made all the difference as he passed for nearly 400 yards and 4 touchdowns as Houston reached the .500 mark, thoroughly defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 28-17 at Paul Brown Stadium.
The first quarter pretty much made it difficult for Cincinnati to pull off one of their improbable finishes as Houston drew first blood; a Schaub-to-Owen Daniels TD pass of 12 yards allowed the Texans to take a 7-0 lead with 48 seconds left to go in the opening period. The Bengals would tie things up at the 11:33 mark of the first half on Cedric Benson’s 10-yard TD run; Houston would retake the lead at 14-7 as running back Steve Slaton was the recipient of a 38-yard TD pass from Schaub.
Cincinnati would tie things up yet again as Carson Palmer would connect with Laveranous Coles on a 8-yard score, making it 14-all; they would take their first lead as kicker Shayne Graham would boot a 50-yard field goal, allowing the Bengals to go to their locker room with a 17-14 lead. The second half would be completely different for Cincinnati.
The third quarter would be the deciding factor for Houston as Schaub would connect twice in the period for touchdowns – one to Jacoby Jones (a 23-yard strike) and again to Daniels (this one from 7 yards out); the Texans would shut out the Bengals the rest of the game as they emerged victorious for the third time this season.
Schaub truly impressed this week as he went 28-of-40 for 392 yards along with 4 TD’s and an interception while Palmer had a decent effort himself, going 23-of-35 for 259 yards witha TD and an INT. Chris Brown led the Texans’ balanced rushing attack with 9 rushes for 45 yards while Slaton ran for 43 yards while catching 6 passes for 102 yards and a score; Benson led the anemic Bengals rushing attack – or lack thereof – with 16 rushes for 44 yards and a score.
Andre Johnson led all Texans receivers with 8 receptions for 135 yards while Daniels added 7 receptions for 78 yards and a TD; Chad Ochocinco led the Bengals receivers with 5 receptions for 103 yards while Andre Caldwell caught 6 for 57 yards. Coles caught the Bengals lone TD pass in catching 4 for 40 yards and a TD. Houston (3-3) will return home as they host the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday while Cincinnati (4-2) remains at home to host the Chicago Bears – also next Sunday.