Texans Play Spoiler Over Bears

Andre Johnson (Getty Images)

The Houston Texans closed their regular season with a 31-24 victory over the Chicago Bears, ruining Chicago's chances at postseason play.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was deadly efficient as he completed 27 of 36 passes against the tough Bears defense for 328 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Steve Slaton rebounded from a tough first half to run for 92 yards on 20 carries including a touchdown. Andre Johnson bounced back from his tough game against Oakland to catch 10 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.

Chicago drew first blood on their opening possession as quarterback Kyle Orton methodically marched the Bears down the field with ease by using rookie running back Matt Forte and wide receiver Devin Hester. Forte ran the ball five times for 17 yards, and Hester caught two passes for 26 yards on the 10-play drive. The drive was finished by a four-yard fade from Orton to Brandon Lloyd to put Chicago up 7-0.

The turnover bug that has plagued the Texans all year long reared its ugly head on the team's second possession as Steve Slaton fumbled the ball away on a short pass from Matt Schaub. The Bears cashed in with a Robbie Gould 37-yard field goal to put the Bears up 10-0 in the opening minutes.

On the verge of being blown out, the Texans offense finally found success when Matt Schaub found Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson wide open for a 43-yard touchdown reception. Momentum continued to shift in the Texans favor as Bears return man Danieal Manning coughed up the ensuing kickoff, and Houston took over in Chicago territory. The Texans cashed in as Andre Johnson wrestled the football away from Charles Tillman on a fade pattern for his second touchdown of the day. The drive covered 38 yards in eight plays as the Texans took their first lead of the day, 14-10, with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.

The Texans took control of the game on their first possession of the third quarter when Matt Schaub drove the team down the field 72 yards on STAT plays, capped by a one-yard Ryan Moats touchdown plunge to take a 21-10 lead.

Chicago quickly returned the favor as Kyle Orton hit wide receiver Devin Hester on a 37-yard strike to the Houston one-yard line, then Orton found tight end Greg Olsen on a play-action pass in the end zone to cut the Texans advantage to 21-17.

Houston put the game on ice when they took the ball the length of the field behind the legs of Steve Slaton and the arm of Matt Schaub. Slaton has 63 yards on the drive which he capped with a two-yard touchdown plunge to put the game out of reach for the Bears at 31-17. Chicago would later score a meaningless touchdown to make the final score 31-24.

The Texans finish the season with an 8-8 record, their second straight non-losing season. They moved to 6-2 at Reliant Stadium and finished winning five out of their final six games.

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