HOUSTON (AP) - Apparently, it’s going to take more than injuries to star players to derail the Houston Texans.
The Texans (9-3) have won a franchise-record six straight games, a remarkable feat considering they’re down to their third-string quarterback and have played the bulk of their streak without their star receiver.
Johnson left in the third quarter after hurting his left hamstring. He injured his right hamstring in Week 4, underwent minor surgery and sat out six games.
The Falcons (7-5) sputtered offensively much of the day and lost for just the second time in seven games. Houston’s top-ranked defense knocked down two Matt Ryan passes in the end zone in the closing seconds.
Yates went 12-for-25 for 188 yards without an interception, an impressively poised performance after a whirlwind week. The fifth-round pick was thrust into action last week in Jacksonville when Matt Leinart broke his collarbone. Leinart was starting in place of Matt Schaub, who broke a Lisfranc joint in his right foot in Houston’s previous game.
Atlanta got the ball back with 59 seconds left, and Ryan threw a deep pass to Julio Jones to the Texans 25. But Ryan overthrew Roddy White in one corner of the end zone and Kareem Jackson swatted away a pass to Jones in the other corner as time expired.
Kubiak couldn’t bear to watch the final play, turning his back and walking down the sideline. When the ball hit the turf and the crowd erupted, general manager Rick Smith told Kubiak what happened and patted him on the back.
Ryan completed 20 of 46 passes for 267 yards, but also threw two interceptions. The Texans have intercepted a pass in 11 consecutive games.
Johnson looked like he’d be Yates’ go-to guy early, making leaping catches on the quarterback’s first two completions. Johnson atoned for an earlier drop by pulling in a perfect 50-yard pass from Yates to the Atlanta 5 in the second quarter. Yates then snapped a quick pass to Joel Dreessen for his first career TD, and chants of “T.J.! T.J.! T.J.!” emerged from the capacity crowd.
Yates took a hard hit from John Abraham early in the third quarter, and the way Houston’s luck has been going, it would’ve been no surprise to see him stay down. But Yates was OK, and Cushing returned in the third quarter.View Entire Story
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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