Raiders 17

(2-2, 0-2 away)

Texans 30

(2-2, 1-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 3, 2004


1 2 3 4 T
OAK 3 14 0 017
HOU 3 14 3 1030

Texans have first winning streak in team history

HOUSTON (AP) -- Since beating the Dallas Cowboys in their franchise debut three seasons ago, the Houston Texans have been trying to win two in a row. The pursuit became such a big deal that quarterback David Carr vowed last September he wouldn't cut his hair until it happened.

It's finally time for a trip to the barber, David.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen Raiders at Texans: Will Turner be able to get Collins to lessen the mistakes that plagued him in New York?

Kerry Collins has a history of not playing well when he has a comfort level. For some reason he's more prone to mistakes when his job isn't on the line. Whereas when he's under fire he plays extremely well. Right now no one in Oakland can take his job away with the injury to Rich Gannon so the Raiders have to find a way to keep him focused.

That said, he's a quarterback with tremendous arm strength and Norv Turner will have to take advantage of it for the Raiders to be successful. He isn't the type of quarterback who's going to thrive in a system where he has to throw a lot of short routes. It's a waste of his talent and a detriment to his ability. Coach Turner will try to utilize the newfound running game from Amos Zereoue to buy Collins more time so he'll be able to throw the deep ball. Once Collins is able to start getting time and hitting receivers downfield it should make things a little bit easier for the team.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

The Texans ended their curious drought Sunday with an impressive 30-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders. The defense forced Kerry Collins into five turnovers, including each of his last four drives, and the offense capitalized to turn a tie game into a solid win.

"Our team showed what we are capable of doing," defensive end Gary Walker said. "We set a standard for the rest of the season."

At 36 games, or 2¼ seasons, the Texans (2-2) needed longer than any expansion team to win consecutive games. They were 0-for-9 before following a last-second victory at Kansas City with this strong showing.

And strong it was: Houston scored its most points, created its most turnovers and responded well to a loud, disruptive crowd of 70,741 that was its second-biggest, an impressive feat considering the Houston Astros were playing their season finale with a playoff spot on the line at the same time.

No wonder Carr downplayed the storyline of his hair and spoke passionately about the significance of this victory.

"This was one we had to get," said Carr, who was 14-of-23 for 228 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. "The thing is, we're one game back in the division. That's our goal. We're trying to win a division and a championship. It shouldn't be shocking for me to say that."

Oakland (2-2) came in on a two-game winning streak and an emotional, well-played win over Tampa Bay. The Raider Nation was excited to see what the strong-armed Collins could do in coach Norv Turner's passing offense in place of Rich Gannon.

There were some nice, deep passes early, and a strong first-half running game behind Amos Zereoue, who was forced into action when Tyrone Wheatley was injured.

But four straight turnovers after being tied at 17 easily explains why the Raiders lost their 11th straight on the road. They also were hurt by 13 penalties, mostly false starts by the offensive line.

"The bottom line is I made stupid throws and gave them the ball," said Collins, who was 21-of-38 for 237 yards, with no touchdowns. "I put this all on me. I've just got to be smarter."

Actually, he might've been outsmarted by Texans coach Dom Capers, his first NFL coach.

Houston blitzed more than it has all season and the Raiders admitted the unexpected pressure was a factor. His first turnover came when blitzing linebacker Jamie Sharper popped him, jarring loose a fumble that Sharper returned for a touchdown and a 10-3 lead.

Zereoue helped Oakland tie the game at 17 before halftime with TD runs of 55 and 17 yards. After gaining just 65 yards over the first three games, he had 104 by halftime -- but carried just six more times to finish at 117.

After going three-and-out on the first drive of the second half, Collins fell apart.

The roll call of mistakes that followed: An interception, a shotgun snap he wasn't ready for that hit his body and Houston pounced on, another interception one play after a likely touchdown was dropped, then yet another interception.

Rookie Dunta Robinson had two of the pickoffs and Demarcus Faggins had the other. Neither had any in their careers until then.

The Texans turned the first and third turnovers into field goals and got a 15-yard touchdown from Carr to Andre Johnson in between. The last turnover came with 1:48 left, letting Houston run out the clock.

"The most important thing to our team right now is not where we are, but where we're headed," Capers said. "I like the direction we've been heading in the last two weeks."

When Houston's consecutive-win bugaboo didn't end in the first two games against San Diego and Detroit, there were concerns -- not just on talk radio, but in the locker room.

"Guys were looking at each other, wondering where we were going to go from there," Sharper said.

Now, they're on a roll like never before. And Carr has a noon appointment Monday with a pair of scissors in the Texans locker room.

Game notes

Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski hit a 50-yard field goal, but missed from 35. He'd made his last 40 under 45 yards. ... Houston's Jonathan Wells, filling in for injured Domanick Davis, ran for a career-high 105 yards and a touchdown. ... Jerry Rice came within 2:33 of getting shut out again. It was his only catch.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
oakTD7:17Amos Zereoue, 55 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 55 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 55 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
houFG3:14Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 15 yds, 3:21
houTD3:35Jonathan Wells, 1 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 75 yds, 3:20
Drive info: 4 plays, 30 yds, 0:33
oakFG0:47Sebastian Janikowski 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 36 yds, 2:17
Drive info: 6 plays, 75 yds, 3:20
Drive info: 4 plays, 30 yds, 0:33
houFG3:13Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 55 yds, 4:16
oakTD0:51Amos Zereoue, 3 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 61 yds, 2:27
Drive info: 9 plays, 61 yds, 2:27
houFG3:23Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 73 yds, 7:29