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San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans: A Prospector's Guide

49ers_logo_medium @ Th_texans_icon_medium

Hallelujah, we've made it through the bye week and we can finally bring you another edition of the "Prospector's Guide."  The 49ers face one heck of a challenge coming out of the bye, heading down deep int he heart of Texas to take on the Houston Texans.  It's been a rather eventful bye week for the 49ers as they've made multiple lineup changes, potentially culminating in the starting debut of Michael Crabtree.  Even if Crabtree doesn't start the game, he'll still get to make his playing debut in his home state.  The Texans on the other hand remain a bit of an enigma this season.  They're coming off a bit win over the surprising Bengals, but up to this point, the Texans have alternated wins and losses.

The 49ers travel to Houston to face the Texans in what will be the second meeting between the two teams, dating back to 2005. In the only contest played in the series, the 49ers defetated the Texans 20-17 in overtime at Candlestick Park in the 2005 season finale. Prior to 2005, the last time the 49ers had played a regular season game in Houston was in 1996 against the Houston Oilers.

While Houston might not be a familiar place to many current 49ers, Mike Singletary knows the city very well. The 49ers head coach was born there and has a large contingent of family and friends in the area.  The 49ers will look to make Singletary’s homecoming a special one after coming off a bye week. San Francisco went 3-0 in the division to start the season and maintains a 3-2 overall record. In each of the past two years, the 49ers have gone 2-2 against AFC opponents.  San Francisco enters this week’s game with a current streak of seven consecutive games with at least one interception and has won 8 of its past 12 games, dating back to 2008.

49ers-Texans Connections
Coaching Connections
• 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye coached alongside Texans assistant head coach/offense Alex Gibbs with the Kansas City Chiefs for two seasons (1993-94).
• 49ers QB coach Mike Johnson coached Texans QB Matt Schaub for two seasons (2004-05) with the Atlanta Falcons.
• Texans head coach Gary Kubiak started his coaching in career in the NFL as a QB coach with the 49ers in 1994.
• Texans WR coach Larry Kirksey served in the same capacity with the 49ers from 1994 – 99.
• Texans TE coach Brian Pariani was a 49ers scouting assistant in 1990 and then a offensive coaches assistant from 1991-94.
• Texans senior defensive assistant Ray Rhodes was an assistant secondary coach with the 49ers from 1981-82 before being promoted DBs coach from 1983 - 91. Rhodes also served as defensive coordinator for the 49ers 1994 World Championship team.
• Texans Assistant OL Coach Frank Pollack was a 6th-round pick by the 49ers in 1990 and played for SF from 1990-91, 1994-98

FORMER TEXANS - 49ers FB Moran Norris played with the Texans from 2002-05.

FORMER 49ERS - Texans Director of Pro Personnel Brian Gardner spent 10 seasons as a scout with the 49ers from 1995-05.

HOUSTON TIES – 49ers head coach Mike Singletary, S Michael Lewis and FB Moran Norris are originally from Houston, TX.

RE "U" NITED – 49ers RB Frank Gore ran behind lanes cleared by Texans T Rashad Butler, C Chris Myers, and T Eric Winston when they were all teammates at The University of Miami (Fla.) from 2002-04.

Series Highlights
The 49ers and Texans have only played once.  The 49ers lead the series 1-0, with a recap below.

At San Francisco, CA, January 1, 2006

The San Francisco 49ers rallied from a 10-0 1st quarter deficit for a 20-17 overtime victory over the Houston Texans to close out the 2005 campaign with two consecutive wins for a 4-12 record. The 49ers dominated the line of scrimmage, gaining 182 rushing yds. and controlling the clock for 44:03. The 49ers used a combination of RB Frank Gore (108 yds.) and RB Maurice Hicks (64 yds.) to take control on the ground.

S Mike Adams was the star of the game on defense after finishing with 2 INTs, one that was returned for a TD and the other that led to the game-winning FG in overtime. Adams, who made his first NFL start at cornerback, intercepted QB Tony Banks at the end of the 3rd quarter and returned it 40 yds. for a TD to tie the game at 17-17. Then in overtime, Banks went deep, but Adams intercepted the pass and lateraled to S Ben Emanuel, who ran 35 yds. to the Houston 21-yd. line. After two short runs, K Joe Nedney nailed a 33-yard FG to give the 49ers a 20-17 victory.

QB Alex Smith helped lead the 49ers to a TD at the end of the 1st half by converting a key 3rd-and-13 situation with a 14-yd. strike to WR Brandon Lloyd, and then three plays later ,threw his first NFL TD pass when he rolled to his right and found Lloyd in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard score. The 49ers took the 2nd half kick and went on a 14-play, 56-yd. drive that ended with a 42-yard FG by Nedney to tie the game at 10-10. Houston responded when Banks fired a 31-yd. pass to WR Corey Bradford to get into San Francisco territory followed by a 25-yd. TD pass to Bradford to retake the lead at 17-10. Houston took advantage of good field position in the 1st quarter to take the 10-0 lead. P Andy Lee struggled in the 30-mile per hour winds, shanking a punt that allowed Houston to start a drive at the San Francisco 21-yd. line to set up a FG. The 49ers next drive ended when Lee’s punt from his own 25-yd. line was blocked, allowing Houston to begin a drive at the 49ers 17-yd. line. Houston responded with a 3-yard TD run by RB Vernand Morency.

2009 Statistics

49ERS (rank) TEXANS (rank)
3-2 (t-1st NFCW) Record 3-3 (t-2nd AFCS)
22.4 (t-15th) Points per game 23.8 (t-12th)
267.0 (29th) Total Offense 369.5 (8th)
106.2 (16th) Rushing Offense 77.3 (30th)
160.8 (28th) Passing Offense 292.2 (3rd)
29:32 (18th) Possession Avg 31:23 (8th)
19.6 (t-12th) Points allowed/gm 22.8 (22nd)
322.6 (15th) Total Defense 351.8 (20th)
88.6 (7th) Rushing Defense 125.0 (24th)
234.0 (20th) Passing Defense 226.8 (19th)
11 (t-21st) Sacks 7 (t-29th)
47.5 (5th) Punting Avg (Gross) 41.5 (28th)
+4 (t-8th) Turnover Differential +2 (t-11th)