Texans rally to down Chiefs; Ryans out for season

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) is squeezed between Kansas City Chiefs Brandon Flowers (24) Derrick Johnson and during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

October 18, 2010 9:56:58 AM PDT
Andre Johnson pulled down another winning catch in the end zone, then took a running leap into the arms of cheering fans in the stands. This one was definitely worth celebrating.

Johnson caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub with 28 seconds left to give Houston a stunning fourth-quarter comeback in the Texans' 35-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The Texans (4-2) trailed 31-21 with just over 7 minutes left after Thomas Jones' 11-yard touchdown run. Schaub threw two long passes to Owen Daniels before Arian Foster scored with 3:30 left to cut the Chiefs' lead to 3.

Houston regained possession after a punt with just over 2 minutes left. Schaub found Johnson across the middle for a 15-yard gain, then hit him down the sideline for 31 more to the Chiefs 24.

Five plays later, Schaub eluded the rush and found Johnson open in the back of the end zone. Johnson, still nursing a sprained right ankle, caught eight passes for 138 yards.

Matt Cassel threw three touchdown passes for Kansas City (3-2).

But Houston's Amobi Okoye sacked Cassel near midfield on the final play, and the Texans stormed the field after their second dramatic rally of the season.

Houston also came back from 10 points down in the second half to beat Washington in Week 2. Johnson caught a 34-yard pass from Schaub to force overtime in that one, and Neil Rackers kicked a 35-yard field goal to win it.

The Chiefs seemed to have control Sunday after scoring on their first three possessions in the second half.

Cassel was sharper than he's been all season, completing 20 of 29 passes without an interception against the Texans' NFL-worst pass defense. Dwayne Bowe made two TD catches and finished with six receptions for 108 yards.

Kansas City also had a big day on the ground, rushing for 228 yards. Thomas Jones ran for 100 yards, and former Texas star Jamaal Charles rushed for 93.

Kansas City led 14-7 at halftime, then marched 77 yards in nine plays early in the third quarter. Bowe caught a slant pass from Cassel and weaved through Houston's defense for a 42-yard touchdown with 8:19 left in the quarter.

The Texans had mustered only 52 yards rushing before Derrick Ward raced 38 yards for a touchdown on Houston's next series. The Chiefs then continued to pick up chunks of yards against the Texans' fifth-ranked rushing defense.

Dexter McCluster gained 20 yards on a reverse and Jones picked up 19 more early in Kansas City's next series. Ryan Succop kicked a 24-yard field goal with 2:58 left in the third quarter for a 24-14 lead.

Vonta Leach returned the ensuing kickoff across midfield, setting up a short touchdown run by Foster with 12:10 left in the game.

But Bowe converted a third down with a 9-yard reception near midfield, and the Chiefs were moving again. Jones ran 10 yards and was shoved out of bounds by Texans safety Bernard Pollard for a 15-yard penalty. Jones scored on the next play.

The Chiefs took a 7-0 lead on their opening series, running off nearly nine minutes on a 15-play drive. Cassel rolled right and found Mike Vrabel open in the end zone from the Houston 2, Kansas City's first offensive touchdown on the road this season.

The Texans' offense, held to 195 yards in a 34-10 loss to the New York Giants last week, produced only 17 yards without a first down in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Schaub threw a 44-yard strike to Johnson. Schaub eluded pressure and threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Joel Dreessen to tie it with 6:45 left before halftime.

Bowe made a diving catch at the Texans 46 with about a minute left in the half. Officials reviewed the play and ruled that Bowe caught the ball before it hit the ground, and Cassel threaded a 17-yard touchdown pass to Bowe with 13 seconds left before the break.

Houston linebacker DeMeco Ryan injured his left Achilles' on the play and was taken off the field on a cart. He did not return.


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