CODY STOOTS PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Texans safeties Mathieu, Jackson come to play in loss to Patriots
Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson had quite the debut at safety for the Texans despite the team failing to capture a win on the road in New England. The Texans lost 27-20 but the new safety duo impressed.
Mathieu pulled down the first of what Texans fans hope is many interceptions with a few minutes left on the clock in the first quarter. Defensive lineman Angelo Blackson deflected a Tom Brady pass intended for James White allowing the trailing Mathieu to come up with the ball. The interception led to a Texans field goal.
Jackson was thumping players early and often. As the clock ticked down in the first half Jackson darted in on Rex Burkhead and forced the ball to shoot out but the Patriots recovered.
Later Mathieu found the ball in his hands again thanks to Jackson. As Rob Gronkowski galloped down the field Jackson came in and punched the ball out. Mathieu who was giving chase scooped the ball. The ensuing Texans drive came up empty but the fumble recovery was a huge play slowing a Patriots offense which was humming down the field.
Despite being new to the defense Mathieu also displayed some knowledge about the scheme. Kevin Johnson failed to listen to Mathieu in a coverage communication where moments later Johnson gave up a touchdown. Mathieu was seen very animated seated next to Johnson on the bench
Jackson finished the day as the team's leading tackler with eight tackles. Mathieu added five from his spot.
It was an impressive day from the safeties for the Texans especially considering the Texans struggles at cornerback in the first half from Johnathan Joseph and the second half from Kevin Johnson. There is something there for Romeo Crennel to work with. If the defense can come together in front of them the safety play can get even better.