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(Sunday, November 13th)
Final Score: Houston 37, Tampa Bay 9
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Arian Foster totaled 186 yards from scrimmage and scored twice as the Houston Texans won their fourth straight game, routing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 37-9.
Without Andre Johnson in their past six games due to a hamstring injury, the Texans have become more run oriented evidenced by their 155.1 rush yards per game average coming into the contest -- which ranked second in the NFL.
Foster had 102 yards receiving and 84 yards on the ground for Houston (7-3), which has run for 205.3 yards per game during its four-game winning streak.
"(We) didn't run the ball very good in the first half, but we came back in the second half and ran it like a good football team," Houston head coach Gary Kubiak said.
Matt Schaub threw for 242 yards and two scores in the victory, while Ben Tate ran for 63 yards and a touchdown and Jacoby Jones added an 80-yard score on the first offensive play of the game.
Josh Freeman completed just 15-of-35 passes for 170 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions for the Buccaneers (4-5), who've lost three in a row and four of their past five games.
"We haven't won in about a month. The guys right now aren't playing well. And we have to find a way to get better," Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris said. "There will be some changes made on how we do some things."
Houston's defense smothered Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount as he managed just 34 yards on 10 carries.
It was a dominating performance for the Texans, who outgained the Buccaneers 420-231 as they head into the bye week.
The Texans went for the home run on the first play of the game on a play- action bootleg as Schaub rolled right and found a wide open Jones, who received Schaub's pass at midfield, eluded Tanard Jackson's tackle attempt with a cut inside and coasted the rest of the way for the 80-yard score. The extra point was blocked by the newly-acquired Albert Haynesworth as Houston took a quick 6-0 lead.
Houston methodically marched down the field on its second possession as the Texans drove 80 yards in 14 plays, but it appeared Schaub was intercepted by Aqib Talib on 3rd-and-goal from the four-yard line. Houston challenged the ruling on the field and it was reversed when the officials stated that Talib never fully controlled the catch.
Neil Rackers' 22-yard field goal split the uprights to give the Texans a 9-0 lead with 4:29 to go in the first quarter.
Foster took a swing pass in the left flat, juked Talib and Sean Jones in the secondary and scampered down the left sideline for a 78-yard score to make it a 16-0 game with 8:55 remaining in the second quarter.
After racking up just 59 yards on its first four possessions, Tampa Bay's offense finally found a rhythm late in the first half with a 58-yard march. Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris elected to go for it on 4th-and-2 from Houston's five, but Freeman's fade pass intended for Dezmon Briscoe was broken up beautifully by Kareem Jackson in the back-right corner of the end zone.
The Buccaneers got one last crack to put points on the board before the half after taking over at the Houston 46-yard line with 28 ticks left. Freeman completed two passes down to the 37, and Connor Barth drilled a 55-yard field goal to make it a 16-3 game.
Houston took its opening drive of the second half 65 yards in seven plays as Foster had runs of 13 and 17 yards before punching it in from the five to give the Texans a 20-point lead.
Brian Cushing intercepted Freeman's pass intended for Kellen Winslow on Tampa Bay's ensuing possession as the Texans took over at the 39-yard line. Derrick Ward got in from four yards out on the seventh play of the drive to give Houston a 30-3 advantage late in the third quarter.
Freeman threw his second consecutive interception as Brice McCain gave the Texans the ball right back at the Tampa Bay 14-yard line. But Rackers missed a 37-yard field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Preston Parker hauled in a nine-yard score with the two-point try falling incomplete for Tampa Bay, and Tate added an 11-yard TD run to conclude the scoring.
Schaub was 9-of-12 for 222 yards and two touchdowns in the first half...Haynesworth had five tackles...The Texans outgained the Buccaneers 184-44 in the first quarter...Houston is four games over .500 for the first time in franchise history...Houston's defense sacked Freeman four times.
11/13 19:23:34 ET