What is This Thing Called Defense?
how about that? In spite of freezing game temps in Cleveland, the
Texans found an even hotter mess than themselves across the field.
On the strength of five turnovers (and a plus-3 ratio), the Texans
outshone the Browns, 16-6.
Sunday's win was arguably the best of the season for a squad that
has been battered and abused outside of the win over the Bengals.
While one solid game - on the road to boot - will probably not prove
to be enough aloe to soothe a year's worth of burns, it does feel
a little bit better.
win wasn't without its typical nailbiting, though. After building
a 13-3 halftime lead, quarterback Sage Rosenfels threw two interceptions
to quickly tighten anuses all over Houston.
we go, right?
In the second half, the Browns were flushed by a fumbled handoff,
some dropped passes by their best receiver, and some interceptions.
All told, the Texans defense allowed just 240 total yards and two
field goals in 22:35 of time off of the game clock.
want to know what kind of sunshiny day the Texans had on defense?
Anthony (where ya been?) Weaver had a freaking pick. Yeah, him.
And so did Fred Bennett and Jacques Reeves. I know, right?
a little more than six minutes remaining in the game, Rosenfels
threw an interception and saw it returned to the Texans' 27-yard
line. Despite the 10-point lead, the game was quickly turning sour.
The Texans needed their defense to make a play late in the game,
something they really hadn't done much of in a long, long time.
a funny thing happened on the way to another blown fourth quarter
10-point lead. After an offensive pass interference negated a 12-yard
reception by Browns tight end Kellen Winslow (can the Texans get
those calls? really?), quarterback Derek Anderson fumbled the exchange
with running back Jamal Lewis.
down both players? Of course, it was none other than Mario Williams,
resident badass. Mario's badassery wasn't enough to recover the
fumble, but linebacker Xavier Adibi did the job.
stickers all around for the defense. Good effort, fellas. And someone
sign Dunta Robinson to a long-term contract, pronto. Reeves didn't
have an especially great game opposite of Robinson, then again he
produced two turnovers (a forced fumble and a late interception)
for a defense that really doesn't do that sort of thing as a normal
course of business, so kudos to him.
receiver Kevin Walter made the big grabs. Andre Johnson had more
catches for more yards (and more Pro Bowl votes), but it was Walter
who scored the game's only touchdown. He had four other catches
for first downs, totaling 93 yards for his seven grabs.
Texans entered the game with the worst turnover ratio in the NFL
at -13, so even getting a push here would have been a great result,
especially with Rosenfels under center.
be nice to think that maybe the defense has turned a corner, but
chances are the Browns are really that inept offensively right now.
Still, the Texans come home next week to a frenzied crowd for Battle
Red Day on Monday Night Football, so maybe they can keep the mojo
working one more week.
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