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Video: Steve Smith's 26-Yard TD Catch Gives Carolina Panthers 7-0 Lead Over Houston Texans

The usually sure handed Houston Texans tailback Arian Foster coughed up the ball early in the first quarter versus the Carolina Panthers paid early dividends for head coach Ron Rivera.

Cam Newton found a streaking Steve Smith for a 26-yard pitch and catch touchdown to give the Panthers an early 7-0 lead.

Newton was sacked on the previous play by Connor Barwin, but then coolly stepped back and watched Steve Smith beat Jonathan Joseph up the sideline of the field to give the Panthers the early advantage.

The Texans, 10-3, are currently pushing for a No. 1 overall seed despite all of their injuries that have ravaged their roster. Houston is currently without the services of Matt Schaub, Mario Williams and Andre Johnson. Johnson was deemed inactive as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Here is the video of the touchdown catch.

For more on this game, check out SB Nation's Houston Texans Blog Battle Red Blog and the Carolina Panthers Blog Cat Scratch Reader.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.