Texans avoid letdown in St. Louis

Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) sets to pass during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

December 20, 2009 2:20:49 PM PST
Big games from Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub helped the Houston Texans win by a narrow margin. [SPORTS BLOG: Read the latest from the Eyewitness Sports team]

Schaub had his eighth 300-yard passing game and Andre Johnson set a season best with 196 yards receiving, but the Texans ended up leaning on field goals to hold off the lowly St. Louis Rams 16-13 on Sunday.

The Rams (1-13) lost their 12th in a row at home and for the 23rd time in 24 games overall only three days after canceling practice after a confirmed case of swine flu. St. Louis got all of its players back, but lost for the second time this season while wearing throwback jerseys honoring the 1999 Super Bowl championship team.

The Rams fell far short of a sellout for the second straight game with paid attendance 46,256, the franchise's worst since moving to the Midwest in 1995.

Schaub was 28 for 40 for 367 yards and a touchdown and Johnson hurt the Rams' secondary with four of his nine receptions going for at least 30 yards. The Texans consistently bogged down deep in St. Louis territory, though, and got the go-ahead score on a 28-yard field goal by Kris Brown, his third of the game, with 4:36 to go.

The Texans (7-7) won their second straight after dropping four in a row by a total of 19 points, and remained alive for a wild-card berth. Johnson has six 100-yard receiving games.

Steven Jackson had 82 yards on 20 carries, becoming the Rams' career leader in rushing attempts.

The Rams led at halftime for only the fourth time all season on Keith Null's 2-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola that made it 10-6, and the teams were tied at 13 after three quarters after Josh Brown's 52-yard field goal.

Amendola scored his first career TD on Null's second career touchdown pass.

Joel Dreesen dropped a sure touchdown catch before Houston settled for a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter. Brown had plenty of leg on a 52-yard attempt to end the half that banged off the right upright.


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