Brown's boots, stout D the keys


MIAMI (AP) -- A humble second-year franchise playing at highly
touted Miami, the Houston Texans were the biggest underdogs of the
NFL's opening weekend.

That made them mad. So did the Dolphins' trash-talking during
pregame warmups.

"One of their players said, `I'll see you after today's
practice," Houston's Jabar Gaffney said. "That was their
thinking -- they were looking at us like this was just a little

The Dolphins can only wish the game had been just a practice.
Kris Brown kicked his fifth field goal, a 35-yarder, with 25
seconds left and the Texans stunned Miami 21-20 Sunday.

"Not many people gave us a chance to win, but we're not
shocked," Brown said. "We took it as a slap in the face that we
were the largest underdogs the opening weekend."

The Week 1 upset was the Texans' second in as many seasons. Last
year they became the first expansion team since 1961 to win their
opening game by beating the Dallas Cowboys.

Miami, a 14-point favorite, fell to 0-1 for the first time in 12

"I'm stunned. Shocked. Disappointed. Amazed," defensive tackle
Larry Chester said. "No one could have told me we were going to
lose -- not with this team."

David Carr kept Miami's proud defense on its heels by throwing
for 266 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown to Corey Bradford.
Brown made field goals of 50, 36, 24 and 23 yards before hitting
the game-winner.

The Texans forced the game's only three turnovers, including an
interception by Marcus Coleman that set up the winning score. They
limited Ricky Williams, last year's NFL rushing champion, to 69
yards on the ground.

"There was never any room to run the ball," he said, "because
we couldn't get in any kind of rhythm."

The Dolphins, touted as a potential Super Bowl team, had won 11
consecutive openers and 17 consecutive home games in August and
September since 1994. They're below .500 for the first time since
the end of 1996.

Coleman intercepted Jay Fiedler's desperation pass at the 5-yard
line on the final play, and the crowd booed the Dolphins as the
clock ran out. Miami lost to a team that went 4-12 last year and
was outscored 107-38 while losing all four exhibition games last

"The way we were playing today, it wouldn't have mattered who
we played," coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We would have lost the

The Dolphins committed 11 penalties, with the most costly a
holding infraction that negated a 48-yard run to the 1 by Williams.
He also lost a fumble that led to a Houston field goal, but he put
Miami ahead in the fourth quarter by turning a short reception into
a 35-yard touchdown.

Question on the Texans: No sacks allowed today. Has the offensive line improved that much?
It's improved a great deal and should be commended for its effort against the Dolphins. Coming into this game, the consensus was that Carr would spend most of the game on his back. For them to allow no sacks was a great feat.

Question on the Dolphins: Any circumstances for which you see Wannstedt losing his job in-season?
No, if there was a coach out there -- like a Bill Parcells -- who could turn this team around, I'd say yes. But there isn't. However, I do believe if the team continues this kind of play he'll be gone at the end of the season.

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

The Texans answered with a 76-yard drive that took 7{ minutes.
Brown's 24-yard field goal left Houston trailing 20-18 with 4:55

Coleman then stepped in front of a pass by Fiedler to give the
Texans the ball at the Miami 36, and seven plays later Brown put
them ahead.

"We felt if we could take the game into the fourth quarter, the
pressure would shift to the Dolphins, because they were the
favorites," coach Dom Capers said. "Then we'd need just a couple
of big plays."

Chris Chambers gave Miami the lead by making touchdown
receptions of 57 and 21 yards, with the latter a spectacular
one-handed grab in the back of the end zone.

Fiedler's three scoring passes tied his career high, but Carr
was better, completing 17 of 31 attempts. The Dolphins failed to
sack the second-year quarterback, who was sacked an NFL-record 76
times last year.

After falling behind 15-14 late in the third quarter, Miami
drove 80 yards to regain the lead. The Dolphins faked a reverse and
Fiedler threw to Williams, who wove through the defense and lost
his left shoe running out of the grasp of the last potential
tackler, safety Matt Stevens.

But Fiedler's 2-point conversation pass was incomplete, which
proved decisive. At the finish, the Texans heard no more

"They have the last word," Miami linebacker Zach Thomas said.
"I don't have any words."

Game notes
Houston released long snapper Chance Pearce and signed
rookie long snapper Bryan Pittman, who was activated for the game.
... Miami CB Sam Madison twisted his left ankle but said he expects
to practice this week. ... Backup DB Shawn Wooden strained his
right hamstring and broke his left hand. ... Houston LB Antwan Peek
sprained his right knee and missed second half. ... Texans Pro Bowl
defensive end Gary Walker was inactive with an injured left


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