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HOUSTON 21, MIAMI 20

Texans Put Dolphins' Words Into Practice

September 08, 2003|From Associated Press

MIAMI — A humble second-year franchise playing at highly touted Miami, the Houston Texans were the biggest underdogs of the NFL's opening weekend.

That made them mad. So did the Dolphins' trash-talking during pregame warmups.

"One of their players said, 'I'll see you after today's practice,' " Houston's Jabar Gaffney said. "That was their thinking -- they were looking at us like this was just a little practice."

The Dolphins can only wish the game had been just a practice. Kris Brown kicked his fifth field goal, a 35-yarder, with 25 seconds left and the Texans stunned Miami, 21-20, Sunday.

"Not many people gave us a chance to win, but we're not shocked," Brown said. "We took it as a slap in the face that we were the largest underdogs the opening weekend."

The Week 1 upset was the Texans' second in as many seasons. Last year they became the first expansion team since 1961 to win their opening game, beating the Dallas Cowboys.

Miami, a 14-point favorite, fell to 0-1 for the first time in 12 years.

"I'm stunned. Shocked. Disappointed. Amazed," defensive tackle Larry Chester said. "No one could have told me we were going to lose -- not with this team."

David Carr kept Miami's proud defense on its heels by throwing for 266 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown to Corey Bradford. Brown made field goals of 50, 36, 24 and 23 yards before the game-winner.

The Texans forced three turnovers, including an interception by Marcus Coleman that set up the winning score. They limited Ricky Williams, last year's NFL rushing champion, to 69 yards on the ground.

"There was never any room to run the ball," he said, "because we couldn't get in any kind of rhythm."

The Dolphins, touted as a potential Super Bowl team, had won 11 consecutive openers and 17 consecutive home games in August and September since 1994. They're below .500 for the first time since the end of 1996.

Coleman intercepted Jay Fiedler's desperation pass at the five-yard line on the final play, and the crowd booed the Dolphins as the clock ran out. Miami lost to a team that went 4-12 last season and was outscored, 107-38, while losing all four exhibition games last month.

"The way we were playing today, it wouldn't have mattered who we played," Miami Coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We would have lost the game."

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