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Walter scores twice, Schaub throws for three TDs as Texans crush Bengals

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans have rebounded from their worst loss with the best single-season stretch in franchise history.

The Texans blew a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead against the Colts four weeks ago and won each game since, getting their third straight win in a 35-6 victory over the winless Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

It's the first time Houston (3-4) has won three consecutive games in a single season in franchise history. Cincinnati dropped to 0-8 for the fifth time. The Bengals are two losses away from their team-worst 0-10 start, which came in 1993.

"We're getting used to winning around here and that's what we've been looking for," Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "The morale and confidence in the locker room is up and we're just looking forward to continuing to do it."

Mario Williams said Houston's recent play is what he expected from the beginning of the season.

"[It] was devastating because we definitely should have won some more games there," he said. "But to win three in a row, I know it seems like a shock to everybody else out there in the community and people who watch the Texans, but it shouldn't be. To me it's just playing ball and it should be like that."

Kevin Walter led the way with two touchdowns in his first meeting against his former team. Walter scored one touchdown in three seasons with Cincinnati, but set a career high by scoring his fourth and fifth touchdowns of the year on Sunday.

Of course, Walter had help from a bevy of strong Texans performances led by Matt Schaub's three touchdown passes and Andre Johnson's fourth straight 100-yard game.

The Bengals seem to be getting worse by the week. The 29-point loss is their largest of the season, and they've allowed 73 points in the last two weeks.

"We played horrible," safety Dexter Jackson said. "We came in here, they put up 35 points on us, we put up six. The score speaks for itself. The scoreboard doesn't lie."

Walter's first score came on a 7-yard reception that made it 21-6 early in the third quarter. Johnson had four catches for 65 yards on that drive, including a short grab on third down he converted to a first down by bulling his way through a trio of defenders.

"We're just playing smarter as a team and it just seems like everything is working out for us," Johnson said.

Johnson capped his fabulous October with 143 yards receiving and has 593 yards this month.

"I don't even know where to begin," coach Gary Kubiak said. "He is just playing so well, with so much confidence."

He easily outdid Cincinnati's much more outspoken receiver who once shared his last name, Chad Ocho Cinco. Ocho Cinco finished with five receptions for 44 yards.

"I'm not happy with the situation," Ocho Cinco said. "It's embarrassing. There's not much I can do except just keep working."

Walter got in the end zone again as he fell to the ground after a reception, rolled to his feet and ran for a 39-yard score. Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph was right there when Walter caught the pass, but didn't touch him until he gave a small shove after Walter was back on his feet.

That touchdown made it 28-6 midway through the third quarter.

David Anderson had a touchdown in the second quarter and Jacoby Jones scored on a 73-yard punt return in the first period.

Jones zigzagged through the first wave of Bengals before slipping through the fingers of a pair of diving defenders en route to his second punt return TD of the season.

The Bengals were in the red zone late in the third quarter when Mario Williams picked up his seventh sack of the year and stripped the ball from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Amobi Okoye recovered and Houston took advantage of the error on a 20-yard run by rookie Steve Slaton that made it 35-6.

Dunta Robinson knocked down a pass on third down from the 14 to force Cincinnati to settle for a field goal just before halftime. Shayne Graham's 32-yarder made it 14-6. Graham also had a 43-yard field goal in the first half.

Robinson set a Texans record with his 12th career interception in the fourth quarter. Robinson, who returned last week after sitting out almost a year with injuries, received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a dance after the interception.

"I felt good," he said. "I felt a lot better than I did last week. I was a little bit timid last week because you're not really sure what's going to happen with your knee. I'm still not where I want to be, but I feel a lot better."

Game notes
Ocho Cinco extended his franchise record by having at least one catch in his 100th straight game. ... No decision has been made on QB Carson Palmer's injured throwing elbow. He said after the game that it will be re-evaluated after the Bengals' open date Nov. 9. "I'll be able to play when this thing gets healed up," he said.

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