They were 3-10 on converting third downs, ran 13 fewer plays, were out-rushed by 86-yards, and gave up two sacks and two interceptions. Now the Cardinals know what the Texans have been going through, as the Texans used the Cardinals ineptness to beat them 31-21.
“It was a good team win. I feel good for the players. They worked hard. Over the last three weeks we’ve had some tough games,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “It was good to be back home, and it was good to see a lot of guys come up big and play good for us. It’s a good win any time you win in the NFL, that’s a big deal. That’s a good win for our team.”
At halftime, the Texans inducted Andre Johnson as the initial member in their Ring of Honor. In his 12 seasons (2003-2014) with the Texans, Johnson became the Texans’ all-time leading receiver with 1,012 receptions, 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns. He led the league in receiving in 2006 with 103 receptions and in 2008 with 115. Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl seven times, and was on the All Pro first team twice, and the All Pro second team once.
“I just wanted to come here and play. Just do things the right way. I just wanted to be a good football player. I never said I wanted to go up in the Ring of Honor, never thought about it. I just wanted to come here and just do things the right way and just be a good football player,” Johnson said before the game.
The Cardinals led 14-10 at halftime as they capitalized on a pair of Texans turnovers. With 8:16 to go in the second quarter, Texans quarterback Tom Savage was sacked and fumbled and the Cardinals recovered on the Texans 17-yard line.
Two plays later, Blaine Gabbert threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald. About six minutes later, Savage was intercepted by Patrick Peterson, who was pushed out of bounds on the Texans 15-yard line. Two plays later, Gabbert found Ricky Seals-Jones in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.
The Texans quit making turnovers in the second half and on their first possession, Savage threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins, putting the Texans ahead 17-14. The Cardinals responded with 4:48 to go in the third quarter as Gabbert again found Seals-Jones for a 28-yard scoring pass, as they regained the lead 21-17. But unlike previous weeks, the Texans defense shut down the Cardinals in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t want what happened to us last game happen this game. We came into halftime saying, ‘We’re not letting this go, we’re not letting this game get away from us like we did the previous game in the second half. So, we’re going to stick together, come out and be physical like it was a 0-0 game,’ and we came out and did that to finish the game,” Jadeveon Clowney said.
The offense then came through with two touchdowns, both from D’Onta Foreman. The first on a 3-yard run, and the second on a 34-yard run to give the Texans a 31-21 win. On the second run, Foreman ruptured his Achilles tendon and will be lost for the rest of the season.
For the game, Foreman had 65-yards and Miller 61-yards for the Texans. The defense held the Cardinals’ Adrian Peterson to 26 yards on 14 carries. After the game, Clowney was asked about stopping Peterson.
“Just being more physical than they were up front, being sound defense, everybody doing their jobs, staying in their gaps, gap-sound defense, and just playing on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage, I think we did that today,” Clowney said.
Savage completed 22 of 32 attempts for 230-yards and had one interception.
“I thought he (Savage) played a very mentally tough game. After the pocket fumble, I thought he really didn’t give in to that mentally and I thought he came in back to the sideline and recovered and went on to play a good game. I am very happy for him,” O’Brien said.
“It feels awesome. It’s hard to win in this league,” Savage said. “You look at us from a fan’s perspective and you’re like this is awesome. It feels great when you win. Like I said it’s tough to do it, but we found a way to make it happen.”
The Texans play the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night in Baltimore.