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Texans... 31 Broncos... 13

December 14, 2007|From the Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Mario Williams dragged down Jay Cutler for the third time, jumped up and sashayed like a hula dancer.

Last year's No. 1 pick had a career-high 3 1/2 sacks to lead the Houston Texans to a 31-13 victory over the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.

With its seventh of the season, Houston tied the franchise record for victories.

Texans (7-7) fans yelled "overrated" when Williams was picked, but chanted his name Thursday as he posed Superman-like with his hands on his hips for several seconds after he took Cutler down for the second time.

Williams performance made him Houston's career sack leader with 17 1/2 . He has had a sack in a team-record five straight games and has 13 for the season and nine in the last five games.

His sack of Cutler forced a fourth down and the Broncos (6-8) went for it, but the pass fell short, giving Houston the ball.

Williams' third sack forced the Broncos to punt and the Texans stretched the lead to 31-13 when Vonta Leach scored on a one-yard run with 3:20 left.

Ron Dayne, who didn't start because of a sore ankle, scored on a six-yard run for Houston. He had 11 carries for 67 yards. The normally subdued Dayne, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1999, celebrated by striking the Heisman pose.

In the first regular-season meeting between Houston Coach Gary Kubiak and Denver's Mike Shanahan, it was the protege who outdid his mentor. Kubiak was Shanahan's offensive coordinator for 11 seasons in Denver.

Houston's Andre Johnson had a four-yard touchdown reception for his career-high seventh touchdown of the season. He finished with six receptions for 86 yards.

Sage Rosenfels, starting his second straight game in place of the injured quarterback Matt Schaub, was 16 of 27 for 200 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Texans.

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