Texans offense sputters in opener Print
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Monday, 08 September 2008 21:21
NFL Headline News

 HOUSTON (AP) -The three stars were healthy and quarterback Matt Schaub entered the game with a year of experience and a first-round pick at left tackle.
Yet Houston's offense looked more like that of an expansion team than a contender in its embarrassing season-opening loss at Pittsburgh. Schaub threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked five times.
``I can't sit here and pinpoint one thing. It was just totally disappointing,'' coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. ``We didn't do anything to help our defense in the first half and then in the same voice I can say they did nothing to help the offense. We all struggled.''
Andre Johnson was frustrated and said the Texans are a ``much better team than what we showed'' on Sunday.
``Everybody was just taking turns messing up, making mistakes,'' he said. ``We didn't go out and execute our offense like we should.''
Kubiak reiterated his confidence in Schaub and the quarterback took responsibility for his mistakes.
`We put ourselves in some tough situations. It falls on my shoulders with turning over the football. I have to not force the ball when I'm not supposed to. Sometimes it's just better to punt.''
Rookie Duane Brown had an inauspicious start at left tackle, but Kubiak said he'll continue starting and that the sacks weren't all the offensive line's fault.
``Anytime you get in a situation where you are throwing the ball that much, something bad is going to happen sooner or later,'' Kubiak said. ``Duane had his work cut out for him ... asking him to hold up that many times is not really fair.''
Veteran offensive lineman Chester Pitts, who has started each game in Texans history, knows the group has to improve.
``Everything,'' he said, when asked what went wrong. ``There wasn't one phase of the game where we played as well as we needed to.''
The Texans couldn't get anything going in the running game either with Ahman Green and Steve Slaton combining for 71 yards. Houston's run game could get worse after Green injured his ankle on Sunday. The 31-year-old, who missed 10 games last season with knee swelling and most of the preseason with a groin injury, had five carries against the Steelers.
Kubiak said Green injured his ankle in the first half and was struggling with the injury Monday, despite finishing the game. Kubiak said they believe it is sprained, but Green was being evaluated.
n to work out running backs Tuesday and could elevate Darius Walker from the practice squad if Green can't play.
``My concern right now is Ahman's ankle,'' Kubiak said. ``If it's going to be a problem, Darius is our first option. You cannot play in this league with two backs or operate with two halfbacks in an NFL a game.''
The Texans have Chris Taylor on their roster, but have apparently decided to use him mostly as a fullback. Houston placed backup Chris Brown on the injured reserve with back problems just before the season.
Johnson hopes the team can use Sunday's debacle as a learning experience. They'll need to with Baltimore headed to Houston this week. The Ravens held Cincinnati to 154 yards in a 17-10 win in their opener.
``It's going to be a big test for us,'' Johnson said. ``We can't hang our heads because of what happened to us this week. I think we'll bounce back well from it.''
 

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