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Lovie Smith: 'Changes' to Texans Defense vs. Patriots?

Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith reflects ...

Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith isn't happy.

Last week's 40-0 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills was a brutal wake-up call for a Texans defense that started the season positively but has appeared to slow as the weeks progress.

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And looking back at their performance, it's a case of missed opportunities that hurt this defense's chances of success - something that will need to be fixed heading into this weekend's game against the New England Patriots.

"We had the ball on the ground," Smith said. "We took the ball away one time. Four other times, we missed two interceptions and we didn’t recover two fumbles. Four times. Buffalo took the ball away five times, we took it away one. We concentrate on that as much as anything. This week, it’s about us outperforming their defense, and that occupies all of our time.”

Houston's lone takeaway came from a Lonnie Johnson interception, with fellow safety Justin Reid saying on Thursday: "It was about damn time that he got one."

And while this was a step in the right direction for Johnson, the secondary as a whole has faltered in recent weeks -  not that defensive back issues are anything new to Houston ...

Cornerback, in particular, has been a problem for the Texans for a few years.

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General manager Nick Caserio brought in a number of veteran free agents at the position this year and Smith has made good use of all of his options already. But, despite this rotation, Smith seems less than overjoyed with their play thus far...

"Whenever you make changes, it’s also saying that you’re not totally satisfied with the results you’ve gotten, and that’s the case also at the corner position," Smith.

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One player who may benefit from this turnover is nickel DB Desmond King. 

"We’ve liked everything about who he’s been since he’s got here," Smith said. "He gives us flexibility, also. He gives us options. We wanted to take a look at him at the corner position last week, and he did some good things. He’ll tell you he’d like to have a couple plays back, but I like what he did first time out playing that position."

Smith also mentioned Tavierre Thomas as another player who they've been taking a closer look at outside of his duties on special teams. 

Regardless of who starts this week, this defense must take every opportunity handed to them, especially against a team as well-coached as New England. 

This may only be Week 5, but having now lost three straight and fresh off of a gut-wrenching shutout, they'll need to bounce back quickly if they're to get their season back on track, and to convince Lovie Smith that they deserve to be members of this defense moving forward.

CONTINUE READING: Texans' QB: Who Starts When Tyrod Taylor is Healthy?