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Houston drops first season-opener in three tries

HOUSTON (AP) -- The power outage at Houston's Reliant Stadium
wasn't limited to the electricity.

The Houston Texans had enough glitches of their own with
ill-timed fumbles and interceptions and some big penalties Sunday
as they lost a season opener for the first time, bowing 27-20 to
San Diego.

A blackout with 5:07 left in the fourth quarter interrupted the
game for about 10 minutes.

Four plays after the game resumed, Houston's Domanick Davis
fumbled at the San Diego 14 yard line -- his second fumble of the
day -- and effectively short-circuited any thoughts of a Texans
comeback as the Chargers ran out the clock.

"I did make a big mistake at a critical time of the game,"
said Davis, who wound up with 87 yards on 21 carries and a couple
of touchdowns. "I was playing a little too hard and I was trying
to make something happen. They just touched (the ball) and it
slipped out."

"Our offense moved the ball well at times, but it doesn't make
any difference if you can't hold on to the ball," Texans coach Dom
Capers said.

San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 121 yards and a
touchdown and the Chargers, unlike the Texans, avoided mistakes and
took advantage of Houston's miscues, which also included a pair of
interceptions thrown by David Carr.

"They made fewer errors than we did," Capers said. "They
didn't turn the ball over and we turned it over four times."

The score was tied at 20 midway into the fourth quarter when
Drew Brees drove the Chargers downfield, climaxing with a 19-yard
scoring pass to Eric Parker in the back of the end zone. Houston
protested the call, although poor replays failed to show whether
Parker's toes landed inbounds.

Brees was 17-of-24 for 209 yards and two touchdowns, including
eight completions for 123 yards to tight end Antonio Gates.

Davis' first fumble, at the Houston 45-yard line, led to a
1-yard TD run by Tomlinson five plays later that gave the Chargers
a brief 10-6 lead in the second quarter.

Carr's first interception was on a desperation pass near
halftime, when the Texans led 13-10. His second was more costly,
coming off a tip by Chargers linebacker Donnie Edwards and a
pickoff by former Houston linebacker Steve Foley at the Texans' 49.

The Chargers cashed in when Reche Caldwell got wide open for a
36-yard TD catch that gave them a 17-13 lead after rookie
cornerback Dunta Robinson tripped and fell in coverage.

"That's life in the NFL," Capers said. "When you're playing
out where he is and you're a rookie you're going to get
challenged."

"That's just part of the game," Robinson agreed. "I knew they
were going to throw the ball at me, but I thought I would do
better."

Then a 40-yard pass interference penalty against Robinson set up
a 29-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding to tie the game at 20 at the
end of the third period.

"We beat ourselves in every aspect," Robinson said.

The game was delayed by an electricity outage at Reliant Stadium
-- which is named for a power company. The 10-minute stoppage came
after a short circuit was believed to have been triggered somewhere
in the area outside the stadium when a small plastic balloon came
in contact with a power line, officials said. An NFL official in
the press box ordered the game to continue despite low light
through the translucent retractable roof, which eventually opened.

The teams got things started by trading field goals on their
first possessions, including a 48-yarder by Kaeding on his first
career attempt.

Kris Brown gave Houston a 6-3 lead on a 20-yard field goal in
the second quarter after Carr's third-down pass attempt glanced off
fullback Jarrod Baxter in the end zone.

"We put out defense in bad situations all day," Carr, who
completed 19 of 25 passes for 229 yards, said. "To be a good
offense, you've got to not just move the ball but have to not turn
it over. We turned it over too much and it's just frustrating."