11 observations from the Texans' 22-13 win over the Titans
The Houston Texans ended their losing streak with a victory over AFC South rivals the Tennessee Titans. Houston pulled off the 22-13 upset in Nashville. Here are 11 observations from the game.
1. There might be many people who hoped the Texans lost this game, and really the rest of them for the rest of this season, but they didn't. It must feel good for the team to end a horrid losing streak. Fans may want the team to tank, but the players active on gameday don't tank. They want to win, and that they did.
2. The defense again played well. Lovie Smith's unit has done a wonderful job with a lightly talented defensive unit. More than a few times, Smith's defense had played well in the first half. This week they pitched a shutout.
3. Kamu Grugier-Hill nearly had an interception for a touchdown and considering the Texans would settle for a field goal, he needed to score for the team to get six points. He has been one of the brightest spots on the defense. Grugier-Hill along with cornerback Desmond King should both be players the team should try to bring back.
4. Speaking of good linebacking play, it is amazing what Zach Cunningham can do when used like he has been used his whole career. Cunningham looks a lot like the player who was second in the AFC in tackles last season and a lot less like the shell of himself he was early in the season.
5. Terrance Mitchell has been a solid player for the Texans, and he is one of the few players signed through next season. He has been a good, inexpensive find for general manager Nick Caserio.
6. The offense was unimpressive, but enough. After a big interception return, the Texans had to settle for a field goal. One drive ended in a Tyrod Taylor rushing touchdown after an impressive march down the field. The Texans didn't squander their second gift, converting a muffed punt for a touchdown.
7. Tim Kelly's offense was serviceable at times, but it felt like he was too conservative at times. The weather was bad, but short dump-offs where the quarterback could be on the move would have been nice to see. The team averaged just 1.8 yards per play in the second half.
8. Tyrod Taylor bounced back after the worst game of his career the last time out. He took care of the ball and used his legs as a weapon. The floor, last game notwithstanding, is a little higher when Taylor is in the game.
9. The offensive line played pretty well. This is rarely something you can say about the Texans. The pocket got a little messy a few times, and the push wasn't always amazing, but no sacks is a massive improvement.
10. David Culley used both his challenges and lost both. The first one was a good challenge of a potential Nico Collins touchdown catch. Culley later challenged a spot, but then after the team lost the challenge, went for it. There is no sense in challenging when the plan was to go for it.
11. The Texans went from a stranglehold on the second draft spot to the fourth overall pick as of right now. The Jets and Jaguars hopped ahead of them. The Giants, Bears (pick owned by Giants), and Seahawks (pick owned by Jets) are all right behind them. The Jets are next up for the Texans where the loser will improve their draft position.