Sunday, September 11, 2016

Novak kicks three field goals to lead Houston to 23-14 win over Chicago

Houston's Will Fuller (15) goes up for an Brock Osweiler pass while
Chicago's Jacoby Glenn (39) and Adrian Amos (39) defend.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 11, 2016) The Houston Texans scored three field goals and added two touchdowns to down the Chicago Bears by the score of 23-14 in front of 71,933 fans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Sunday, September 11, 2016. The win gave the Texans their 100th victory as a franchise and improved their all-time record at NRG Stadium to 57-56 in regular season play. They also improved their season record on season openers t0 9-6 and gave them an overall record to 4-0.

The Texans started out moving the ball well, until quarterback Brock Osweiler was aiming for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a second and eight play. The short pass was low and was picked off by cornerback Tracy Porter. The Bears took over at their own 25-yard line. At that point, Chicago plowed through the Houston defense on their first possession; covering 75 yards in eight plays before quarterback Jay Cutler handed off to running back Jeremy Lankford. The two-year veteran out of Michigan State plunged the final one-yard over the goal line to score his and the Bears’ first touchdown for the season. Conner Bath booted the ball through the uprights for the kicking conversion to give Chicago a 7-0 lead with 11:29 left in the first quarter.

Nick Novak got the Texans on the scoreboard with a 28-yard field early in the second quarter. Osweiler followed the field goal up eight minutes later with a 23-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins for their first touchdown in 2016. Novak added the extra point to give the Texans a 10-7 lead with 3:14 remaining in the half. The Bears were not to be denied taking a lead into the locker room at halftime. With seven seconds left in the half, Cutler threaded a 19-yard needle pass to wide receiver Eddie Royal for the score. Barth again split the uprights for the extra point to give Chicago a 14-10 lead at the half.  

Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) carried the ball
four times for 14 yards, while throwing for 231 yards and
two touchdowns against the Bears.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
The Texans scored once in the third quarter and twice in the fourth to regain the lead and win the game. Novak kicked a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 38-yarder in the fourth. In between his kicking scores, Osweiler found Will Fuller open in the red zone and connected on an 18-yard pass for the Texans’ second touchdown of the game. Novak added the obligatory kicking extra point to secure the win.

Osweiler completed 22-of-35 passes for 107 yards, including a game -high 35-yarder. He was sacked twice for a total loss of 16 yards. Fuller caught five passes for 107 yards, while Hopkins caught five passes for 54 yards. Defensively, John Simon tallied six tackles and one sack, with Whitney Marcilus accounted for two sacks of Cutler.

For Chicago, Cutler completed 16 passes for 216 yards and was sacked five times for 31 lost yards. Alston Jeffery caught four passes for 105 yards, while Lankford carried the ball 17 times for 57 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Jerrell Freeman accounted for nine tackles while Danny Trevathan added 11.

Next up for the Texans is a Sunday, September 18 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs with a 12 noon scheduled kickoff. The game will be broadcast on CBS.

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