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Texans' defense makes statement in victory over Steelers



The final play of any significance was an interception, and the home crowd rejoiced Sunday.
Beating the visiting [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Pittsburgh+Steelers%22]Pittsburgh Steelers[/url], 17-10, was impressive enough, but battering [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Ben+Roethlisberger%22]Ben Roethlisberger[/url] to the degree that the massive quarterback departed Reliant Stadium in a walking boot after being sacked five times was significantly more satisfying for all invested in the Texans.Yet, [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Danieal+Manning%22]Danieal Manning[/url] needed to vent."It's only been four games -- we haven't won or lost anything," the safety said. "But if the season were to end today, we'd be in the playoffs. If we want to 'what if' this, we'd be in the playoffs and tied for No. 2 in the AFC."
And he wasn't finished.
"I love the fans, I love the media, but as a football player, this is about the [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Houston+Texans%22]Houston Texans[/url]," Manning added. "This isn't about anybody else... It's about these guys in the locker room. We're circling the wagon, and this is what we believe in. People have to write about things, people have to get it out there -- it's just the way it is. Everybody has a job to do -- I'll put it like that. It's the nature of the beast."What you guys go over and talk about, about what we talk about, we try to keep it in our wagon."
OK, so the Texans don't listen to what's being said outside of their locker room, especially what's being reported by the media. But maybe the media should have heard what the Texans were saying this week and maybe Sunday wouldn't have been so surprising.
Based on last week's fourth-quarter collapse in New Orleans, the tired, old narrative resurfaced -- the defense was a sieve once again. Never mind it was a fired-up [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Drew+Brees%22]Drew Brees[/url] leading a comeback at the deafening Superdome -- the eye-rolling and snickering resumed anyway.Defensive coordinator [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Wade+Phillips%22]Wade Phillips[/url] was asked Thursday what he'd learned about his unit."We just needed to play well one quarter and we didn't do that well," he said.
He wasn't blowing smoke - Phillips said as much again Sunday, after his defense limited the Steelers to 296 yards and, most importantly, just 10 points.
"We played one bad quarter -- that's really all we've had this season," he said.
He's right. In the first 11 quarters in 2011, the Texans surrendered just 37 points. But the 23-point fourth quarter was so jarring, it shook all of the confidence in this team. Well, the confidence in this team -- outside of the locker room.
So much so that earlier in the week, head coach [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Gary+Kubiak%22]Gary Kubiak[/url] was asked if his team possessed an identity."I don't know," Kubiak said Wednesday. "I feel like I know my guys. Identity-wise, I don't know. That'll be developed over the course of 16 weeks. For two games and three quarters, we had a nice identity and it wasn't very good the last quarter, so we got to go change it this week."
According to inside linebacker [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22DeMeco+Ryans%22]DeMeco Ryans[/url], consider the transformation complete. He said there was no concern when the defense was forced to protect a lead three times in the final 8:21."When we're put in situations to close games out, we're finishing those games instead of allowing teams to score, which we haven't done in the past," Ryans said. "I had no feeling we were going to blow it. When we stepped out on the field, I knew we were going to close it out. I knew it."
In the end, [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Jason+Allen%22]Jason Allen[/url]'s interception of a pass intended for [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Antonio+Brown%22]Antonio Brown[/url] -- the same wide receiver who'd had success against Allen with three consecutive receptions during the Steelers' lone touchdown drive in the third quarter -- was fitting.Outside linebacker [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Mario+Williams%22]Mario Williams[/url] was a menace, dragging down Roethlisberger twice for sacks. Defensive end [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Antonio+Smith%22]Antonio Smith[/url] added another sack, and outside linebacker [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Connor+Barwin%22]Connor Barwin[/url] and defensive tackle [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Shaun+Cody%22]Shaun Cody[/url] had the others."They did a nice job, particularly at the end," Pittsburgh coach [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Mike+Tomlin%22]Mike Tomlin[/url] said. "Of course, when we had to get one-dimensional trying to play catch-up."Added Manning: "When we're covering well, they're going to get sacks."
So, do the Texans have an identity now, especially with star wide receiver [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Andre+Johnson%22]Andre Johnson[/url]'s uncertain status? Whatever it is, the defense must be considered a vital, focal point, no longer deserving of the "soft" label. Inside linebacker [url=/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports%2Ftexans&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Brian+Cushing%22]Brian Cushing[/url] thinks so, at least."I think that will change after today," inside linebacker Brian Cushing said. "I think we played one of the most, if not the most, physical teams in the NFL today."
And won, somewhat convincingly -- which wasn't a surprise to anyone inside the locker room.
Especially Manning.
"We weren't worried about a loss," he said. "We watched film and we thought we played good against (the Saints). We looked at (Sunday) as another chance to redeem ourselves, against another great team and more emphasis on this game because it's an AFC team.


Added: Oct-2-2011 Occurred On: Oct-2-2011
By: HR_Shovenstuff
In:
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Tags: I, don't, even, like, the, Texans, but, this, is, hilarious, to, me
Location: Austin, Texas, United States (load item map)
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  • i love the fans

    Posted Oct-5-2011 By 

    (3) | Report

  • i give the credit to rick perry's prayer rally.

    Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Luv Ya Bulls!

    As a BullPen member, I sweated the second half, yet the Texans D stepped up.

    If it wasn't for the the poor calls on Manning and Watt it would have been 31-10 and more reflective of how the game played out. I was worried that the Steeler D was going to crush Schaub; glad to see it was Ben that left with a walking cast and not Schaub.

    Early MRI's indicate AJ will be back in a few weeks, not a knee but a bad hammy.

    Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

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  • Luv Ya Bulls!

    As a BullPen member, I sweated the second half, yet the Texans D stepped up.

    If it wasn't for the the poor calls on Manning and Watt it would have been 31-10 and more reflective of how the game played out. I was worried that the Steeler D was going to crush Schaub; glad to see it was Ben that left with a walking cast and not Schaub.

    Early MRI's indicate AJ will be back in a few weeks, not a knee but a bad hammy.

    Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Sorry for the triple post.

    My original '07 LL account was hijacked at some point and the "75" account was a temporary until I retrieved this account back.

    /I respect the hell out of the Steelers and I actually stayed in a hotel in downtown Houston this weekend due to a wedding and the Pitt fans were well behaved and fun.

    Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

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  • I was hoping that liveleak's steeler fans would come out to play. But it looks like they all commited suicide, no loss.

    Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

    (-1) | Report

    • @HR_Shovenstuff No,I will man up. You guy's played a hell of a game and Foster had a great comeback game,your team is due for a playoff run this year and that was a great confidence builder to beat the Steelers,we are having alot of issues now with our "O" line our starters are all hurt and our second team is hurt too,that is why Ben is making poor decisions ou there when he hears footsteps,were four games in and it is not over yet for us,our team is too deep in talent and coaching not More..

      Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

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    • @ZANGADO

      I knew the final score before watching the game but was still glued to the TV last night. Great game, I knew the Steelers have a great team this year and was a bit worried.

      Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

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    • @Limpnoodle They will pull it together,its only the fourth week of the season,it is injuries that are effecting the whole offence,the defence needs to tighten stopping the run,they are allowing 100yrd games this season so far,last year teams averaged 60yrd games if that,were #2 now in the league but not for long if Le Beau dosn't make some changes. Im happy with the coaching,it's just the injuries so early in the season are killing us(and Warren Sapp's mouth)lol

      Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

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    • @ZANGADO Hey, it could be worse. You could be a Browns fan like me. ;)

      Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

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    • @HR_Shovenstuff You guys played a great game, and like Zangado said - Foster was an animal out there. It looks like the Steelers D-fense was able to contain him in the 2nd half, and if Polamalu doesn't get tripped up by Woodley then Foster doesn't break that 42 yrd TD run.

      Our offense line is looking like warm butter out there. I partialy blame the new "rules" on player workouts. It's hard to realy teach a young inexperienced line how to block in practice when the new CBA tells them t More..

      Posted Oct-3-2011 By 

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