The toughest game for the Houston Texans to date, they went into MetLife Stadium and got their first ever win over the New York Jets 23-17. The game was not how the "experts" expected this game to end up, but the win did not come without a blow the Texans might have to deal with, the potential loss of Brian Cushing.
The game will be over shadowed by the injury to Cushing, but the Texans grinded out the victory over the tough, dangerous Jets. The Jets played inspired football the entire game, but even despite another far from perfect game the Texans were still able to win "ugly".
Let's take a look at the game.
- The story of the game will be the injury to Brian Cushing and his left knee. Cushing was cut from behind by Jets lineman Matt Slauson on a play away from the football. He ended up walking off under his own power but the initial signs do not look good. We will not find out the final word of his injury until the coming days, but it is a huge blow to the defense.
- J.J. Watt made some impact plays once again for the defense and the tipped pass on the Brice McCain interception was huge. Watt has been nothing short of exceptional for the Texans, and the defense will lean on him to carry the defense going forward if Cushing is out for any extended period of time. Watt had 6 tackles, a huge quarterback sack of Mark Sanchez in the 4th quarter, and three pass deflections throughout the game.
- First half Arian Foster had nine carries for 100 yards and a touchdown (his long run was 46 yards), and looked like his old self running the football. He ended with 29 carries for 152 yards and one touchdown. Foster was the main attraction in the offense and really carried a sluggish offense throughout the night.
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- What was supposed to be a strength of the team, the special team coverage and return game has been anything but. Trindon Holliday has been lack luster and has been disappointing to say the least, and add in a 100 yard kick off return by Joe McKnight, the special teams were bad. Donnie Jones had zero returns (6 punts) on him, while Shayne Graham was 3 for 3 in field goals which proved to be huge in the long run for the Texans. There will have to be some changes to make the Texans better and it needs to happen now.
- Andre Johnson only had one catch tonight and really was not a factor in the offense, and only the team knows why. Questions will come out about the lack of his presence in the game plan, but with other receivers getting catches it is tough to be harsh.
- Owen Daniels, James Casey and Kevin Walter all had four catches a piece and provided enough for the Texans offense in the air. Daniels continued his torrid start of the season and caught a touchdown pass for the third straight game. Walter and Casey look to becoming alive with plenty of attention being pushed towards Johnson's way on routes.
- Johnathan Joseph had his worst game as a Texans player against the Jets. The slip was one thing, but he looked slow and gave up plenty of completions to Jets' wide receivers the entire night. He was not his same aggressive self on the field. It might be his groin or something else, but he was disappointing. With the Green Bay Packers coming to town, Joseph better play better than what he did on Monday night.
- The offensive line allowed Matt Schaub to be touched two times the entire night, and kept a clean slate on not allowing a quarterback sack. The offensive line found some rhythm in the running game and went to work clearing the way for Foster's big day. The group has been slowly getting better and are starting to gel as the weeks go on. Despite having a bum ankle, Antoine Caldwell was pretty efficient at right guard.
- Brice McCain came alive with a key interception which he returned for 86 yards and set the Texans up for a key field goal to close out the first half. Then he was in on a huge sack with Bradie James late in the 4th quarter to stall the Jets drive for a game winning score. He made some impact plays which were huge for the outcome of the game.