Texans 3

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Chargers 24

(2-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, September 15, 2002

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 0 3 0 03
SD 14 3 0 724

Another first for Texans -- a loss

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Junior Seau introduced himself early and often to David Carr and the expansion Houston Texans, leading a mismatch that soon became a feeding frenzy.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Texans: How long will the offense struggle?
I belive we saw the best Houston's offense has to offer against Dallas last week. The party may be over now that the Texans are playing teams with tougher defenses. It'll be a long season for Houston.

Question on the Chargers: Are they really good or have they just beaten up on really bad teams?
The Chargers have taken the first step to becoming a solid team by beating the teams you're supposed to beat. The next step will be beating the tough teams. As the Raiders phase out their older players in the next few years, the Chargers will be primed to step up as a contender in the AFC West. They could contend for a playoff spot as early as next year, but this year will be tough, with two games each vs. Oakland and Denver.

Eric Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Seau, the perennial Pro Bowl linebacker, intercepted Carr to set up one of Curtis Conway's two touchdowns and defensive end Raylee Johnson recovered Carr's fumble in the end zone for another score as the San Diego Chargers beat the punchless Texans 24-3 on Sunday.

Carr, the top pick in April's draft, had no chance against the Chargers' relentless defense. He was sacked nine times, intercepted twice and completed only six of 25 passes for 87 yards.

"We wanted to put pressure on him and we wanted him to be uncomfortable,'' Seau said. "And for the most part, we did that. We're happy about that. It was fun.''

All that, and the Chargers -- who haven't allowed a touchdown in two games -- were without one of their hardest hitters, safety Rodney Harrison, out with a groin injury.

The Chargers (2-0) kept Houston (1-1) from becoming the first expansion team to win its first two games. Houston upset Dallas 19-10 a week earlier to become the first expansion team since Minnesota in 1961 to win its first game.

Carr, who was a fan of Seau's while growing up in California's Central Valley, and even got his autograph as a teenager, has been sacked 15 times in his first two games, and said he feels it.

"I'm just going to get in an ice bucket with a snorkel and come back the next week,'' Carr said.

The Chargers didn't want to be complacent, and it showed. Seven of their sacks were in the second half.

Besides the first-quarter interception, Seau had a sack and seven tackles. He also almost dropped Carr for a safety.

The 13-year veteran figured that with a rookie QB, the Texans wouldn't have a sophisticated game plan.

"I took more gambles today than I would if I played Brett Favre,'' Seau said. "It was a chess match. You give me a formation, I know what you're running. If there's a lineman uncomfortable with his block, I can find him. When I saw that, it was over before the snap.''

Rookie linebacker Ben Leber sacked Carr in the end zone early in the fourth quarter and forced a fumble, which Johnson jumped on for the only touchdown of the second half.

"It's just a fun game when you feel like you're dictating what they do,'' Leber said.

Leber had three sacks, Pro Bowl defensive end Marcellus Wiley had two, and Johnson had 1 sacks on consecutive plays in the third quarter.

Long before he fumbled in the end zone, Carr already had been worked over by Seau.

On Houston's second possession of the game, Carr's pass deflected off receiver Corey Bradford's hands to Seau, who returned it 25 yards to the Houston 6. Three plays later, Conway scored untouched on a 3-yard end-around, raising the ball in his right hand as he crossed the goal line for a 14-0 lead with 2:03 left in the first quarter.

In the closing minute of the first half and the Texans at their 7, Carr dropped back into the end zone and was wrapped up by Seau. Carr tried desperately to get out of the end zone and appeared to be down before touching the ball on the 1-yard line.

But after a review, referee Mike Carey ruled the replays were inconclusive. Seau did get a 6-yard sack.

Undrafted rookie Vernon Fox, a teammate of Carr's at Fresno State who was starting for Harrison, intercepted Carr in the fourth quarter.

"It's been a whirlwind, these first two games,'' Carr said. "We had a super high in the first week and this game was the total opposite.''

The Texans got inside the San Diego 20-yard line once, with 1:13 to play, but came away with no points.

Chargers quarterback Drew Brees, nearly sacked for a safety by Jeff Posey in the second quarter, was 15-of-28 for 163 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.

The Chargers took a 7-0 lead on the first drive of the game when Brees found Conway down the left sideline for a 35-yard TD pass. Conway had five catches for 113 yards.

Houston's only score was a 45-yard field goal by Kris Brown in the second quarter. San Diego's Steve Christie kicked a 36-yarder for a 17-3 halftime lead.

Game notes

San Diego's nine sacks were third-best in team history. ... The Texans were just 1-for-14 on third downs and committed 12 penalties for 73 yards, including two on their opening drive. ... Chargers injuries: TE Stephen Alexander (concussion), returner Tamarick Vanover (bruised ribs), Wiley (ankle sprain), CB Tay Cody (ankle sprain) and G Bob Hallen (groin strain).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 4 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 4 yds, 0:00
sdTD2:52Curtis Conway, 3 yd run
Drive info: 3 plays, 6 yds, 0:33
Drive info: 3 plays, 6 yds, 0:33
houFG9:31Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 8 yds, 1:45
sdFG0:07Steve Christie 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 37 yds, 0:28
Drive info: 10 plays, 78 yds, 3:37
Drive info: 10 plays, 78 yds, 3:37