Texans Beat Raiders to Snap Three-Game Skid

The Associated Press
Sunday, November 4, 2007; 7:31 PM

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Sage Rosenfels once again saved his best for the fourth quarter, leading the Houston Texans to yet another win over the struggling Oakland Raiders.

Rosenfels connected with Andre' Davis on a 42-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter that helped Houston snap a three-game skid. The Texans remained unbeaten in three meetings with Oakland by beating the Raiders 24-17 Sunday.

Getting his first start of the season in place of the injured Matt Schaub, Rosenfels produced little for Houston (4-5) until after the Raiders (2-6) cut a 17-point deficit to seven early in the fourth quarter. Ron Dayne, who rushed for a season-high 122 yards, bulled his way to the Oakland 42 on three rushes for 23 yards.

Then on a third-and-2, Davis sped past cornerback Stanford Routt and caught the long TD pass that gave the Texans a 24-10 lead with 7:50 to go. Davis was greeted with a chest bump by injured teammate Andre Johnson, who ran onto the field in street clothes to congratulate his teammate.

Rosenfels came into the game with the third-best quarterback rating in the fourth quarter (125.1) and has thrown all seven of his touchdown passes in the fourth period this season.

Josh McCown threw his third interception on Oakland's next drive, sealing the win for the Texans, who had lost five of six since a 2-0 start. McCown finished 13-for-28 for 158 yards, throwing a 28-yard TD pass to Tim Dwight with 1:30 left.

Houston recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

The Raiders have lost four straight since a two-game winning streak in late September and the calls have already started for No. 1 overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell to play.

McCown, who moved back into the starting role after missing four games with a broken toe, was booed almost from the start. Frustrated fans began their chants for Russell in the first half. When McCown played earlier this season, the calls were for Daunte Culpepper to play. But now after watching Culpepper struggle when McCown got hurt, the fans are looking to the future with Russell.

Something about facing the Raiders brings out the best in Dayne and the Texans. Houston's 3-0 mark against Oakland ties its best against any team, along with Miami. And for the second straight year, Dayne overpowered the Raiders' defense.

Dayne has run for at least 95 yards only three times the past two seasons, twice against Oakland. He finished with 95 yards in last year's 23-14 win. He was even better Sunday, carrying 21 times in his fourth career 100-yard rushing game. He scored on a 14-yard run in the second quarter two plays after Fred Bennett intercepted McCown's throw.

A Raiders drive stalled at the Houston 46 late in the first half and coach Lane Kiffin opted to try a record-setting 64-yard field goal instead of punting on fourth-and-9. Sebastian Janikowski, whose career long is 55 yards, had plenty of distance, but the ball bounced off the right upright.

The fans applauded the effort, but it gave Houston the ball at the Oakland 46, setting up a 40-yard field goal by Kris Brown that made it 17-0.

Down 17-0, the Raiders ended an eight-quarter touchdown drought with an 85-yard drive aided by two personal foul penalties on third down. Justin Fargas, who finished with 104 yards rushing, capped the drive with a 1-yard run.

© 2007 The Associated Press