Texans @ Jets Review: Defense


The Texans were completely underwhelming in their 23-17 victory over the Jets on Monday Night.

The defense was abysmal as many people believed that anything less than a shutout against an offense that was missing its top three receiving threats would be a disappointment.

Oct. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Houston Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing (56) is injured in the first half of the game agains the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

The Front Seven (J.J. Watt)

J.J. Watt was an unstoppable force again. That’s the good news. He took back the league lead in sacks and was a presence that the Mark Sanchez felt all night as he deflected three passes as well.

The bad news came as the remainder of the front seven couldn’t put any sort of pressure on the quarterback and allowed him to find open, albeit mediocre, receivers downfield.

The worst news, however, was that Brian Cushing left the game with an apparent knee injury, that was confirmed today as an ACL tear. With that diagnosis it is almost a certainty that Cushing will not be able to return at any point this season meaning that the defense will face a similar situation that the offense did last year: the loss of a signal caller.

Without Cushing in the lineup the Texans lose their leading tackler and their leader. He was seemingly always around the ball and now we will have to see how Bradie James can play in his place. We wish Cushing a speedy recovery and are looking forward to seeing number 56 suit up again next year.


With the exception of Brice McCain the secondary was unimpressive. McCain racked up a sack and an interception which are good numbers for the best corners in the league, let alone nickel guys like McCain

Kareem Jackson also continued to make improvements as he got his third interception of the season on a tipped pass in the fourth quarter. Jackson’s improvement is perhaps the best news that the Texans can take out of the season thus far and his continued presence could lead to a bright future.

Johnathan Joseph on the other hand was beyond bad. He fell down on coverages, he bit on double moves from a career cornerback playing wide receiver and he allowed Jeremy Kerley to nearly eclipse 100-yards receiving. This is certainly not something that any fan wants to see with a team like the Packers coming to Houston on Sunday night considering the potent passing attack that they possess.

Unless Johnathan Joseph steps his game up next week the Texans could easily see their undefeated record be no more next week against Green Bay.

Oct 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Joe McKnight (25) attempts to elude Houston Texans linebackers Brooks Reed (58) and Mister Alexander (54) at MetLife Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jets 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Special Teams

Donnie Jones continued to be phenomenal. He punted the ball six times and none were returnable with four being downed inside the 20. Shayne Graham also continued his great season going 3-3 on field goals and 2-2 on extra points.

Unfortunately both the kick coverage and the return team looked horrible. Trindon Holliday was unable to get out of his own shadow amassing just 36 yards on four returns. Joe McKnight on the other hand returned a kickoff for a touchdown, marking the second time in five games this season that the Texans have given up a return score.

Not only did the Texans not stop big returns they also gave up a first down on a fake punt run by Tim Tebow. I understand that he is a dangerous weapon in that situation, but good teams historically have been good on special teams and the Texans need to step it up if they want to stay undefeated.