Leads aren't safe when Texans are playing

Updated: November 3, 2003, 5:46 PM ET
ESPN

HOUSTON -- Are the Houston Texans comeback artists or chokers?

Well, they're both.

All three of their victories this season have come because they erased a fourth-quarter lead by scoring last, including Sunday's 14-10 upset of Carolina.

Yet they're the same team that blew double-digit leads in three of the previous four games, losing two and employing one of the aforementioned comebacks to beat Jacksonville 24-20 on Sept. 28 with David Carr's daring goal line dive as time expired.

Capers agreed the traits seem incongruous, though part of the explanation could be a parity-ridden NFL that makes trends difficult to maintain for established powers, let alone second-year franchises filled with fresh faces.

"When you're jumping out to early leads and you can't hang on to them, everybody says, `How come you can't finish what you start?" Capers said Monday. "(Sunday) we were off to an awful start but we really finished what we couldn't get done before."

The Texans were outgunned on every front against the Panthers in the first half and allowed Carolina to pile up yards and keep the ball for more than 19 minutes. However the Panthers, who would have emerged as the NFC's top team with a victory, fell to 6-2 partly because they only managed a 7-0 halftime lead.

Houston had a second half turnabout, holding onto the ball even longer than the Panthers did before intermission and scoring two touchdowns, including an electrifying one-handed catch of a Tony Banks pass by tight end Billy Miller with 9{ minutes that proved to be the game-winner.

"Every week's a little bit of a different situation," Capers said. "If you're a young team, many times you haven't been in those situations. I think we've grown a lot over the first half of the season in terms of handling those situations.

"What I saw in the second half were the kind of plays good playoff teams make to win football games."

Players were given the day off Monday and weren't available at the stadium. They'll return Wednesday to begin preparing for a trip to Cincinnati, also 3-5, and a chance to put together back-to-back wins for the first time in team history.

After the game Sunday, Texans strong safety Eric Brown said he was relieved to be celebrating a fourth-quarter comeback to end a three-game skid that has included back-to-back blown leads to the Jets and Colts.

"That has been our downfall," Brown said. "It feels good to finally pull one out."

On the injury front, Capers said Carr is expected to practice Wednesday and will play Sunday if his right ankle -- which takes the most stress when he drops back to throw -- is healthy.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index