10 Thoughts: Texans vs. Browns
Patrick D. Starr
All is good in Houston after the Texans win over the Cleveland Browns with a dominant victory by the score of 30-12. With the Texans at 6-3 and leading the AFC South, this is some rare air the franchise and fans are not used to. It is a good sight to see the Texans playing at a high level without many of their big name players.
There are some good things happening to the Texans and with their hard work and precise personnel moves they are producing on the field. With an upcoming game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Texans are heading to a much-needed bye week.
Here are some thoughts on Sunday's win over the Browns
1. For the 3rd week in a row the Texans defense have held their opponent under the 200 total yard mark (148,174,172) offensively. The Texans defense in that stretch has caused 6 turnovers (5 interceptions, 1 fumble) which is a good sight. Also, the defense has had 7 sacks in this three-week period, and with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips turning the key on this unit, it seems the sky is the limit.
2. Don't look now but the poster boy of the State of the Texans, Brooks Reed has recorded a sack in his past three games and capped his day off on Sunday with 2 sacks to give him 4 for the season. Reed is also stout against the run and recorded 5 total tackles against the Browns. The hit he put on Browns' quarterback Colt McCoy was one of the hardest we have seen all season. It is amazing to think that Reed is a rookie, but he shows he can both play the run and rush the passer. Reed looks like a steal in the second round for the Texans.
3. Quintin Demps who was picked up off the scrap heap after being let go after training camp has come back to Houston as a big key to the Texans defense. In head coach Gary Kubiak's after game press conference admitted letting go of Demps before the season was a mistake and also was grateful that Demps was still available when Danieal Manning went down with his injury. After almost getting an interception last week, Demps had a huge pick and return to set up the Texans for a field goal going in the lockeroom at halftime. Demps has help solidify the Texans secondary with the injuries to Manning and Dominique Barber.
4. Arian Foster and Ben Tate are a serious tandem in the backfield for the Texans. On the ground Foster has 656 yards and Tate is right behind him with 623 yards. More impressive was the fact that Tate after a bad fumble in last week win came out running and set the tone early with a 27 yard touchdown scamper with only one shoe. Foster has been the grinder this year with his hard running and it will be fun to see if both backs can get to the 1,000 yard mark before season's end.
5. Speaking of Arian Foster, he became the Texans' franchise leader in rushing touchdowns with 24. Foster has played in 29 games as a Texan and we can expect many more in the #23 uniform. He surpassed ex-Texans running back Dominick Davis/Williams, who previously held the record for the past 9 years.
6. I'm not saying it was not good to see Matt Schaub on the field, but there was little required of him with the dominance the Texans offensive line put on display on Sunday. With 261 yards on the ground, the Texans offensive line did what they wanted to and once again led a rushing attack which was plenty of offense for the Texans victory.
7. The much criticized Jacoby Jones has stepped his game up the past few weeks, and seem to be more focused on doing his job after his unimpressive performance against the Raiders. He is catching passes and doing it with confidence, but the biggest sign has to be his overall improvement the past two weeks as a punt returner. Jones has quit his dancing around with the football and starting going north and south with his returns. This has proved big in getting the Texans some important field position, and his 50 yard return on Sunday was a good sight to see.
8. It doesn't go down as an interception, but Colt McCoy visited "Cody's Island" after nose tackle Shaun Cody picked off a two point conversion. Cody named the island himself, but things are going right if Cody is making plays like that. Cody has been stout against the run, and has been probably one of the biggest surprises for the Texans this season.
9. There has to be some respect given to the coaching staff of the Texans this season. Coach Kubiak and Phillips get majority of the credit, but the position coaches should get a lot of credit too. The Texans despite playing inferior competition the past three weeks have not let up and have played some dominating football. It is impressive to see how the players are in the right spot and playing their tails off this season. Yes the players perform on the field, but the coaches play a big part in the overall preparation for the games and getting the players focused for their opponent that week. Expectations have risen across the board and a lot of that has to start with what the coaches expect from their players.
10. Is it apparent why Brian Cushing was voted "unanimously" as a captain by his teammates at the halfway point of the season. His play is at a level that can put him in the conversation of one of the top linebackers in the league. Sunday he had 7 tackles and a sack, and created a stir when a Browns player took a cheap shot at Cushing after Demps' interception. That led to his bloody pictures that are flooding the internet. It is great to see Cushing back and better than ever.