Good Start, Bad Ending For Houston

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: October 6, 2008

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans allowed the Indianapolis Colts to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and escape with a 31-27 victory in front of 70,118 stunned fans at Reliant Stadium.

The Texans, 0-4 this season and 32-68 overall, became the first team in NFL history to blow a lead of at least 17 points in the last five minutes and lose in regulation.

Indianapolis, 2-2, overcame a 27-10 deficit in the last five minutes by scoring three touchdowns in a span of two minutes, 10 seconds. Quarterback Peyton Manning threw two touchdowns in the period, a seven-yard pass to Tom Santi and the game winning score to Reggie Wayne. Colts middle linebacker Gary Brackett picked up a Sage Rosenfel fumble and returned it 68 yards for another score.

Rosenfels, who started for Houston in place of Matt Schaub, who spent Saturday night in the hospital with a viral infection, ruined what had been great performance by losing two fumbles and throwing an interception in the last three minutes and 54 seconds.

“I feel like I let all 53 guys and 15 or whatever coaches down,” Rosenfels said. “We played a great game. I just made some bad mistakes at the end.”

Rosenfels played nearly flawlessly for more than three quarters, leading the Texans to a 27-10 lead with five minutes left in the game. However, things started to change when he tried to jump over defenders to try to stretch for a first down.

The ball was stripped from him by Raheem Brock and Gary Brackett recovered it and raced 68 yards for a touchdown.

The last time a Houston football team lost a large lead was in 1992 when the then- Houston Oilers blew the biggest lead in NFL history. The Oilers were up by 32 points in the third quarter of a AFC wildcard playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.

Rosenfels finished 21-of-33 for 246 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once and sacked twice.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson had his best game of the season finishing with 9 catches for 131 yards and one touchdown.


– Texans defensive end Mario Williams had two sacks in the game. This marked the sixth time in his career that this has happened.

– Rookie running back Steve Slaton had two rushing touchdowns in the game. He became the first Texans rookie to do so since Domanick Davis on December 28, 2003 also against the Colts.

– This was the Texans 63rd consecutive sellout.

– Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney recovered a fumble.

– Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson had his 19th 100-yard receiving game.

– The game was the 100th in Houston Texans history.

– Prior to the kickoff, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell presented a check for $2.45 million on behalf of the Texans Helping Texans campaign. The funds raised by the campaign will benefit Houston mayor Bill White’s Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund and the United Way.

– Texans quarterback Sage Rosenfels started for the first time this season and the sixth time as a Texan.

– Left guard Chester Pitts started his 100th consecutive game. Pitts is the only player to have started all 100 games in Houston Texans history.

– Wide receiver Andre Johnson extended his team record with a reception in his 38th consecutive game. He also surpassed the 5,000 career receiving yards with his third reception of the game. He entered the game 17 yards shy of the 5,000 yard mark.

– Johnson also scored the 26th touchdown of his career and his 39-yard reception in the second quarter was the longest reception of his career against Indianapolis. He finished the first half with seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. His 98 receiving yards are the most in the first half of a game in his career, topping his previous high of 97 yards in the 2007 opener vs. Kansas City.

– Kicker Kris Brown made his sixth consecutive field goal this season.

– Tight end Owen Daniels extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 23.

– Rookie running back Steve Slaton is the first Texans rookie to score in three consecutive games.

– Linebacker Zac Diles intercepted quarterback Peyton Manning in the second quarter. It was Diles first career interception and the second of the season for the Texans.