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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – It started off swimmingly, and ended with a 30-12 final at Reliant Stadium. Here are my individual topic/player breakdowns of the Week 9 win for Houston:
Handling their business - There were not many puzzling turnovers or fumbles today, in contrast to the win a week ago against the Jaguars. Houston came right out and scored a touchdown, then the defense forced a Chris Ogbonnaya fumble on the ensuing possession. Before some people settled into their seats, the Texans already led 14-zip.
That’s what you have to do against bad football teams. Don’t allow them hope or give them any signs of life. This was the third game of the season where Houston did this (Colts, @Titans, Browns).
Rushing attack - Like all the games, the key for the Texans today was to establish the best ground attack in the NFL. What can you say about this performance? For the second time in three weeks, both Arian Foster (124) and Ben Tate (115) went for more than 100 yards, and they each found the end zone.
At some point, maybe now, the Texans’ o-line has to be up for consideration as the best in the NFL. There are huge alleys, cutback lanes, and open spaces for the running backs to race through. I know the Browns have a bad run defense, but this has happened a number of times this season. Now the challenge is to replicate the effort against the Bucs, Jaguars, Falcons, etc.
Run defense - Caveat that the Browns are utterly incompetent running the ball, but this was an area of concern coming into the season, with only Shaun Cody and Earl Mitchell at nosetackle. Cleveland ran the ball 21 times for 44 yards, which made the game completely one dimensional. Houston has done a good job in this area in the 3-game winning streak.
Brooks Reed - He’s done a fantastic job trying to make up for the loss of Mario Williams. 2 sacks today going around the edge to finish off Colt McCoy, giving Reed 4 sacks on the season. One of the elements of his game that you have to love is the relentless energy to keep pushing and getting to the QB. Very solid rookie season.
Quintin Demps - It’s rare for a guy who wasn’t even on the roster 2 weeks ago to get his own category, but Demps made an impact in this game. He had a couple of successful blitzes, and made a nice pick off McCoy late in the first half, which led to 3 points.
I was wondering what Wade Phillips would do with Danieal Manning out, and he has basically put Demps in the Manning spot. Even Gary Kubiak admitted after the game that the coaching staff made a mistake in initially releasing Demps.
Overall, the Texans are 3 games over .500 in franchise history, and have done a very good job to get to 6-3. Now, let’s hope they get Andre Johnson back, and continue this momentum at the Bucs next weekend.