Houston Texans: The ascension of the defense is right on schedule

The Houston Texans defense improves week-by-week and is an important factor in this five-game win streak. But they’re right on schedule. Why? Take a look.

The Houston Texans defense has improved every week during their five-game winning streak and it has propelled the Texans to the top of the AFC South.

Houston’s defense started off this win streak by allowing Andrew Luck and the Colts to score 34 points, however, what they did better than weeks prior was force turnovers and make impact plays that affected the outcome of the game.

The Houston Texans best pass rushers — J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney — both had two sacks and on top of that Clowney scored the first points of the game for the Texans with a fumble recovery and touchdown.

On top of that, the Houston Texans defense held down the fort and stopped the Colts on fourth down during overtime.  This ended up being the last time the Colts had the ball because after that turnover, the Texans went down the field and scored a 37-yard field goal.

The next game against the Cowboys, the Texans only allowed the Cowboys to score 16 points. The defense focused on stopping Ezekiel Elliott and letting Dak Prescott try to beat them.

Well, their plan worked to perfection because Zeke only gained 54 yards on 20 carries and the banged-up Texans secondary only allowed Dak to throw one touchdown pass.

Then against the Buffalo Bills, the Texans secondary stepped up and only allowed the Buffalo Bills quarterbacks to throw for a combined 145 yards.

To add to that, while the Bills were driving to take the lead with less than two minutes left in the game, Johnathan Joseph intercepts Nathan Peterman and runs it back for the game-winning Pick-6.

Now on to the Texans best defensive performance of the season against the Jaguars. The Texans

only allowed seven points. Tyrann Mathieu had his best game of the season with five tackles, one sack, one pass defensed and one interception.

The Texans played great defense as a whole and were the reason why Blake Bortles was bench for a former Browns quarterback.

During those four games, the Texans defense allowed fewer points per game and played better as a whole.

Now I know the Texans allowed the Dolphins to score 23 points but the defense lost another key member in Joseph — after sustaining an apparent ankle injury — and the secondary let a few plays get by them. However, after the Dolphins offense started the game off with a rushing touchdown by Kenyan Drake, the Texans only allowed one more touchdown and that was a trick play by the Dolphins.

If the Texans defense can continue to generate the same type of pass rush, the secondary should be able to continue to make plays for this defense (Injuries and all).

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Deshaun Watson looks like he has recovered from his early-season injuries, so if this defense can continue to play as one and improve, the Texans will continue to win and shock the league.

This type of characteristic is typical of Romeo Crennel-led defenses, this unit has risen from the middle of the pack to 9th in the NFL in yards allowed (334.9).

Let’s hope that this trend of upward progress continues.

 

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