CINCINNATI — No last-minute heroics for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Matt Schaub passed for 392 yards and four touchdowns Sunday as the Houston Texans whipped the Bengals 28-17 at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals (4-2), who after a season-opening loss had won four straight nail-biters, used up their last-minute magic in the first half.
Two scores in the final 48 seconds gave them a 17-14 lead at intermission.
Houston (3-3) outgained the Bengals 151 yards to 6 in the third quarter; it had seven more first downs (9-2). Most importantly, the Texans outscored Cincinnati 14-0 in the period.
"Not focusing got us out of the game, particularly in the second half," Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said. We had guys running onto the field looking over their shoulder at me instead of playing football."
Cincinnati's defensive line suffered a pair of setbacks. Tackle Domata Peko exited after three plays because of an injured left knee. End Antwan Odom, who blocked a first-quarter field-goal attempt, was carted off the field when he suffered what Lewis termed a "probably pretty severe" Achilles' injury.
Schaub, a sixth-year pro, completed 28 of 40 passes. His season-best 392 yards mark his fourth 300-yard game of the year. He has TD passes in five consecutive games and has connected with at least seven receivers in four straight.
His scoring tosses, in order, covered 12 yards to Owen Daniels, 38 yards to Steve Slaton, and third-quarter strikes of 23 yards to Jacoby Jones and 7 yards to Daniels.
Houston's opening drive ended with Odom's field-goal block. Its last drive of the half ended with an interception.
"We moved the ball on our first drive. We ended up getting a field goal blocked ... but we were able to move the football and we were able to score in the first quarter," Schaub said. "Then, in the third quarter, coming out and scoring. That was a good tone-setter for us to start the game and to start the half."
Andre Johnson, who torched the Bengals for 143 yards last year, had eight catches for 135 yards Sunday. Slaton caught six for 102 yards and ran for 43 yards.
Houston was nursing a 14-7 lead in the final minute of the half.
Carson Palmer, who would finish 23 of 35 for 259 yards, fired a strike to Laveranues Coles in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown with 48 seconds left.
With the score tied, Schaub was picked off by Chris Crocker with 9 seconds left.
After a 9-yard gain, Shayne Graham nailed a 50-yard field goal.
Texans Coach Gary Kubiak drew a big assist on the winning TD.
On the second play of the second half, Bengals cornerback Leon Hall stripped the ball from Slaton and recovered near midfield. Kubiak challenged the call. The replay showed Slaton's knee was down before the fumble and Houston kept possession.
Five plays later, Jones was wide open in the end zone.
Cincinnati, which got its first-quarter score on Cedric Benson's 10-yard run, fell flat. Its second-half "drive" chart: fumble, three punts, fumble, interception.
Brian Cushing, a rookie linebacker out of Southern Cal, forced both fumbles and, with 1:48 left, got the interception.
"He makes his biggest plays during the toughest times in games," Kubiak said. "He's a tough competitor."
The Texans outgained the Bengals 472-296. Benson, after running for 120 yards against Baltimore, was held to 44 yards on 16 carries.
Benson "gave us some motivation earlier in the week," said tackle Amobi Okoye, the former Louisville standout who, at 22, is the youngest Texan. "He said some things that we didn't like and it does nothing but fuel our fire."
The offending comment was Benson's explanation for why he signed as a free agent with the Bengals rather than the Texans. (More money.)
Palmer was victimized by several dropped passes.
"It was just poor execution across the board," he said. "It's a tough game to lose and a tough pill to swallow, especially after the way we felt the last few weeks."