Heading into the bye, the Texans have a two-game AFC lead: “It’s a great position to be in”

The Texans exited Reliant Stadium yesterday with more than a resounding victory. Though, they got that, too. They bludgeoned the Ravens 43-13, giving the home team their biggest victory ever as a franchise. It was the most points they’ve ever scored. The impression they made on the NFL was immense. “We lost to a really good Houston Texans team,” Ravens LB Terrell Suggs told me. “We didn’t lose to a team who don’t know what their identity is. We lost to a really good team today on their home field.” Yet it was more than a win. The Texans also go into their bye week with essentially a two-game lead in the AFC, and that puts them in prime position. […]

Texans hope Sunday was not a defining moment: “It’s a moment you’re going to have to respond to”

The Texans were undefeated and unblemished heading into Sunday’s game against the Packers, and they hadn’t even trailed by more than five. They were easily and resoundingly anointed the NFL’s best team… and then the Packers showed up. The result was an ugly beat-down, a 42-24 defeat that left the stands empty except for chants of “Go Pack Go!” and wasn’t even as close as the score. QB Aaron Rodgers torched the previously respected Houston secondary. Penalties crushed them, prolonging two drives that turned into 14 Green Bay points. And their best offensive weapon, running back Arian Foster, remained in neutral all night. So… what the heck happened? “It was shocking but if you go out and play the way […]

Texans LB Brian Cushing on Slauson’s fine: “That’s not going to change how my knee feels”

For the first time since his season ended with a torn ACL, Texans LB Brian Cushing met the media. And because we are here in Houston, we were there to listen. First, the newsworthy stuff. Cushing hasn’t heard from Jets G Matt Slauson, who was fined $10K for his hit on the former USC star that ended his season. He doesn’t expect to. Nor, by the way, did Cushing seem to care one way or the other that Slausin was fined for the cut block. “That’s the thing,” Cushing said. “That’s not going to change how my knee feels or whether I can get back on the field. That’s up to me now, the doctors, rehab as much as I […]

The Texans defense tried to keep DE J.J. Watt out of the highlights… and failed

The Texans defense did what it always does in today’s 38-14 win over the Titans. They dominated, applying pressure, confusing them, and making plays. And in one of the NFL’s best defenses, second-year end J.J. Watt is the most dynamic player. It was that way again in Reliant Stadium. Watt had two sacks, five tackles, and one fumble recovery. He put on a show. There were plenty of highlights, as Watt ran his total to a whopping 7.5 sacks in four games — a staggering number for a 3-4 DE. How good is he? Allow Texans owner Bob McNair to weigh in. “I don’t know if there’s anybody on the defensive side of the ball that’s playing  as well as […]

Professor Wade Phillips, Texans DC, explains why his 3-4 defense isn’t like all the others

My quick, one-day trip to Houston to report on the Texans is almost complete, as I’m waiting in the airport to go home. It was nice and informative, and you’ll hear some of what I learned on Sunday morning. Oh, I’ll be back to cover the Texans-Titans game. One thing I really liked was the explanation of Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillip when the topic of his 3-4 defense came up. The mind behind one of the NFL’s most aggressive, attacking, and effective units explored his methods. A reporter asked about the production from DE J.J. Watt, who has 5.5 sacks and a whole bunch more. He doesn’t fit the mold of the 3-4 end, which is usually a Richard […]

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