HOUSTON (AP) -Matt Schaub's season hasn't gone according to plan.
The Houston Texans quarterback had a virus requiring hospitalization that cost him one game, and a below-the-knee hit that kept him out of four more.
Now he's back, and throwing for a franchise-record 414 yards to lead his team to its third straight win. His performance in Houston's 24-21 win over Green Bay was the first 400-yard passing game in team history and his third game with more than 300 yards this season.
Coach Gary Kubiak was impressed with Schaub in his comeback, especially considering the freezing temperatures.
``I don't know if I could imagine any quarterback going in there in that temperature and in that place and throwing for 414 yards,'' Kubiak said.
Rookie left tackle Duane Brown said Schaub's return gave the entire team a boost, and though he was on the field with the quarterback, he was in awe of his work.
on TV and I was just like: 'Wow.' He didn't skip a beat.''
It was a big step for Schaub, who the Texans believe is the quarterback to turn this struggling franchise into a winner, but whose two seasons in Houston have been marred with inconsistent play and injuries.
``It was important for me to get back out there and be with my team and to get back as soon as I could,'' said Schaub, who campaigned to return a week earlier. ``It was a great game for myself and for our team.''
Schaub has missed 10 full games and parts of four more due to injuries and illness in the last two seasons.
``I think he can be a very good quarterback in this league,'' Andre Johnson said. ``When he's healthy he goes out and puts up numbers. I think that's the biggest thing, since he's been here, we just haven't been able to keep him healthy.''
Johnson missed seven games last season and that absence, coupled with Schaub's injuries, has limited the duo to just 12 full games together since the quarterback arrived in Houston.
Johnson, second in the NFL with 1,201 yards receiving, wistfully thinks about the possibilities if they could be on the field together for a full season.
``You wish you could be out there all 16 games, but sometimes that just doesn't happen,'' he said. ``I would like to see how things would end up if we all could play 16 games without any injuries.''
When healthy, Schaub's been up and down. He threw five interceptions and fumbled three times with one touchdown in the first two games this year. Then he hit for three scores and had no interceptions the next week.
Kubiak believes Schaub can become an elite quarterback if he can avoid injuries and play more consistently.
``He's capable of being a top-five guy in this league,'' Kubiak said. ``Now, staying healthy and playing within the system, protecting the ball, those are the things that are going to tell you if he can be great along the way. But obviously, when he's had a chance to do it, he's done it pretty darn good.''
Schaub, who has 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions with 2,176 yards this season, was encouraged by Kubiak's comments.
``It's a tremendous confidence boost to know your head coach has that much confidence in you,'' he said. ``(But) it's just about going to work every day and getting the team ready and getting myself ready to play and just executing our game plan.''
Schaub's return, coupled with the development of the running game behind rookie Steve Slaton, has the Texans ranked third in the NFL in yards per game (381.5). It's the most prolific Houston's offense has ever been, besting last year's 14th place finish, the previous high.
Now Schaub and the Texans prepare for their second meeting with AFC South champion Tennessee. Schaub had his worst outing of the year in Game 1 with the Titans, throwing three interceptions with no scores and fumbling twice in the 31-12 loss.
The Titans remember that game, but they also saw what he did to the Packers and vow that he won't do that to them.
``We're going to have to go in there and look to shut them down and not let them gain ... and just embarrass us like he embarrassed Green Bay,'' Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth said.
Schaub, who wears a large brace on his left knee, was taken down once last week. Haynesworth and the Titans plan to ``get after him'' a lot more this week.
``That's our game plan,'' he said. ``Hit the quarterback as many times as we possibly can. He'll start cringing before you even get there ... we want the quarterback to think about us and not think about throwing the ball down the field.''
AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville contributed to this story.

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