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Reflecting on Another Texans Defensively-Minded Win

Some random thoughts on the Texans' victory over Atlanta.

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 04: Running back Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans is tripped up by the Atlanta Falcons defense on December 4, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 17 to 10. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 04: Running back Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans is tripped up by the Atlanta Falcons defense on December 4, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 17 to 10. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
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Let's run through some of the big talking points of Houston's 17-10 victory over Atlanta on Sunday...

 

  • T.J. Yates started out with some yips, making a couple bad throws that may have been more about his nervousness than anything. But, after a few, he settled in and made enough plays to keep the defense honest and not sell out for the run.
  • One thing that hurt him all day were some big drops. Andre Johnson was guilty of at least two, with Jacoby Jones adding one himself for good measure. In Andre's case, I blame the inactivity with causing some rust on his pass catching. Or, it could have just been a very small sample size.
  • Either way, the MVPs of this win were the offensive line. When it counted, the Texans won resoundingly in the trenches, creating huge running lanes and cutback opportunities for Arian Foster. Sure, Foster made some great plays, but without the offensive line winning big-time, Foster would not have been able to convert on third-and-9 on a run up the middle.
  • Give Yates credit too for some nice pocket presence. He avoided the rush a couple of times and made good throws. His one mistake was that bad pass which Mike Peterson picked off for a TD, which was then called back. He also made some nice scrambles and looked fairly mobile. All small things, but good signs moving forward.
  • Ah, yes, the defense. What can we say about the defense? First of all, great scheme by Wade. That Cover 3 he ran really played havoc with Matt Ryan. They had those two long passes that were nowhere near the receiver on the game's first drive, but it also set up two different interceptions, with the defender coming underneath the receiver because he was sitting in the zone.
  • The pass rush also looked unimpressive in the first half, but started really putting heat on Ryan as the game went along. Add to that the fact that Phillips was able to get pressure with four and five guys rushing, and this was a great performance.
  • Am I alone in not understanding how Yates' arm wasn't going forward? It sure looked like it was and pretty indisputably. It was interesting that there was another play like this in the Packers-Giants game where the offense didn't react. Seemed to be going around this week.
  • Were my eyes deceiving me or did Kareem Jackson make a couple of nice plays there? I also thought Johnathan Joseph did a great job covering Roddy White. The Falcons' top receiver beat him a couple of times, but overall, it was an excellent performance by the Texans corner.
  • I am always shocked when Tony Gonzalez continues to do well. He's a Hall of Famer right now and continues to show athleticism out there. It's also the first time this season that a tight end has really gouged the Texans. Of course, I'm sure the Falcons would have rathered White or Julio Jones to be the one getting most of the targets.
  • That fourth-and-1 call was gutsy and absolutely the right call. It also seemed to be the same formation that the Texans were going to run on that fourth-and-inches call earlier before Mike Brisiel jumped offsides.
  • Speaking of Brisiel, he did not have his best game. Three false starts? Come one, Mike. You're better than that.

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