The Texans have the look of a champion – and it’s only four weeks into the season.
Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Matt Schaub threw two TD passes as the Texans dominated the overmatched Tennessee Titans 38-14.
The Texans are 4-0, and with a stifling defense, a potent running attack, and a crisp passing game, the Texans quickly are looking like the team to beat in the AFC.
Schaub completed 20-of-28 passes, Owen Daniels caught six balls for 72 yards and a score, and James Casey had five receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown for Houston, which has outscored its opponents 128-56 this season.
Arian Foster rushed for 86 yards and a pair of scores, as they built an early lead and never looked back, knocking Titans QB Jake Locker out of the game with a shoulder injury.
”We really played great defense, the whole second half,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. ”The defensive play in the second was what got us going, the big play.”
For the Titans, they fall to 1-3 with the loss, and the bigger story could be the loss of Locker, who played well last week in the 44-41 win over the Lions.
Locker left the game in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury. On 3rd-and-7 midway through the frame, Glover Quin came untouched on a safety blitz and sacked Locker for an 8-yard loss. While Locker was going down, J.J. Watt hit him with the crown of his helmet directly on the shoulder.
Matt Hasselbeck came on and threw for 193 yards on 17-of-25 efficiency with a pair of scores and interceptions for Tennessee. Chris Johnson, who came into the contest with just 45 yards rushing this season, gained 141 yards on the ground on 25 carries in the setback.
”It was a pretty good game,” Johnson said. ”We ran the ball. I felt like my offensive line went out there and did a great job from the first snap, just getting up on guys, pushing those guys back, and just giving me somewhere to run.”
The Texans led 14-7 at halftime, but their offense bogged down for a while after that. Houston mustered only two first downs in the second quarter, and went three-and-out on the first series of the third quarter.
Hasselbeck threw behind tight end Taylor Thompson, and the ball ricocheted to Manning, who weaved 55 yards for a touchdown. Manning’s play not only reignited the restless fans at Reliant Stadium, it also seemed to wake up the offense, and they blew out the Titans the rest of the way.