CINCINNATI(AP) With four touchdown passes, Matt Schaub deprived the Bengals of another day for drama.
Schaub tied his career high with his four scoring throws - two of them to tight end Owen Daniels - as the Houston Texans had their way all day, pulling away to a 28-17 victory over a Cincinnati team that couldn't stay close enough to give itself a chance at the end.
The Bengals (4-2) had won three straight games in the last 22 seconds, pulling off one improbable drive after another because an opponent failed to finish them off. They had one more escape on Sunday - Steve Slaton fumbled with the Texans (3-3) in field-goal range with 6:12 left.
Drama? Not this time. The Bengals fumbled the ball back two plays later, a sign the odds had caught up with them.
Not that Schaub left them much of a chance. He had his fourth 300-yard passing game of the season, smoothly picking apart a defense that lost its top pass rusher and a starting tackle in the first quarter. Schaub was 28 of 40 for 392 yards, the second-highest total of his career.
Carson Palmer ran a Bengals offense that stayed in character - not much got done until the last two minutes. The Bengals scored 10 points in the final 48 seconds of the first half, putting Cincinnati up 17-14. This time, the offense went nowhere in the second half.
Houston's defense has shut out the last three opponents in the second half, and clinched this one when Brian Cushing intercepted Palmer's pass with 1:49 left. Palmer, playing with a glove on his left (non-passing) hand to support a sprained thumb, was 23 of 35 for 259 yards.
The Bengals suffered a significant loss when defensive end Antwan Odom - tied for the NFL lead in sacks - hurt his left Achilles' tendon in the first quarter and didn't return.
Odom barged through the line and blocked Kris Brown 's 28-yard field goal try on Houston's first possession. He hurt his right leg on Schaub's 12-yard touchdown pass to Daniels and was taken off the field on a cart, costing the Bengals their best pass rusher.
They also lost starting defensive tackle Domata Peko to a knee injury in the first quarter, evening things up on the line. The Texans were missing their two starting guards, out with season-ending injuries.
Schaub's only mistake was an overthrown pass that helped the Bengals roll off those 10 points late in the first half. Cincinnati has scored 54 of its 118 points in the last two minutes of a half or overtime.