Rookie Steve Slaton rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns on Monday as the Houston Texans trounced the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-17 in a the Texans’ first appearance on Monday Night Football since the franchise began in 2002.
Running back Steve Slaton lobbied head coach Gary Kubiak for more chances to run the ball during halftime and delivered with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help the Texans move to 5-7 and third place in the AFC South. They have now won two in a row after a three-game skid.
Jacksonville, tipped for the Super Bowl by many at the start of the season, threatened several times but were only able to score two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter against a tired Texan defense.
“I didn’t run the ball enough in the first half to be honest with you,” Kubiak told reporters. “We got a little out of whack play call-wise, and the kid came up to me at halftime — here’s a rookie — grabs me by the shirt to say, ‘I’m OK, give me the ball.’”
The teams traded touchdowns in the last four minutes of the game, with each of Slaton’s scores followed by Jacksonville scoring drives.
Mario Williams, who sacked Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard three times, said he would have preferred not to have Slaton get into the end zone again so quickly after his first touchdown, so the defense could have had more time to rest.
“I wish he wouldn’t have run that one in so fast,” joked the defensive end, one of whose sacks forced a fumble to set up a Slaton touchdown.
Slaton, Williams and the rest of the Texans were clad in their “Battle Red” uniforms for the first time the city of Houston hosted a Monday night game since Nov. 21, 1994, when the New York Giants beat the Oilers 13-10 at the Astrodome.