Texans morning huddle: Blue gets game ball, injury updates

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Good morning Texans fans, happy Tuesday to you all. I am sure you are all still feeling good on the backs of a win, and also feeling fortunate that the rest of the AFC South has started slow as well. Good things can be ahead for Houston as injured players are getting healthier by the day. For stories about player’s trying to get back, and more, check out or links below.

Alfred Blue receives game ball – by Deepi Sidhu, HoustonTexans.com

"After a 100-yard rushing performance and the longest touchdown of his career, Alfred Blue received a game ball on Monday from head coach Bill O’Brien.With one suggestion.“I gave him the game ball offensively this morning but I told him to turn around, because he sits right next to the linemen, to make sure he thanks those guys and the tight ends and the fullback because those guys blocked well for him,” O’Brien said Monday.The offensive line, minus starting left tackle Duane Brown and right guard Brandon Brooks who left in the second quarter with an injury, blocked for a total of 186 yards rushing on 46 attempts. Blue started for the injured Arian Foster and rushed for the lion’s share. He had 139 yards rushing on 31 attempts in Sunday’s 19-9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.“I think as the game went on, we felt like Blue was in a pretty good rhythm,” O’Brien said. “We felt like Chris Polk had a couple nice runs for us there and he was doing his job. (Jonathan) Grimes went in there and had a couple of things, especially in the passing game where he did well and he had his role and caught a pass. In this particular game, it was Blue’s running game, if that makes sense.”"

Freebie Alert: Free food & drink, thanks to Houston Texans win! – Click2Houston.com

"The Houston Texans’ win against Tampa Bay Sunday means you can score several freebies Monday and Tuesday this week. To redeem most of the deals all you have to do is wear something Texans or say how much you love the team! Check out the list:MONDAYPapa Johns– The day after a Texans’ win, get 50 percent off your online pizza order at Papa John’s. Use code TEXANS for each pizza ordered to get this deal at PapaJohns.com.Crave Cupcakes– Enjoy a buy-one-get-one free deal at Crave Cupcakes Monday till 6 p.m. All you have to do is present them your opened social media app and show them you like them on Facebook or Instagram for the freebie! The offer is valid one per person.McDonald’s Houston–The Texans’ rushed for over 100 yards, which means free 10-piece nuggets the day after the win! Simply download the McDonald’s app to get this freebie. You must have the app to score the freebie.Jack in the Box–Get a free monster taco the day after a Texans’ win if the Texans scored two touchdowns. Simply say “touchdown for tacos” at Houston-area locations.Three Brothers Bakery–Get a free treat at Three Brothers Bakery on game day and the day after the Houston Texans’ win a home game!Firehouse Subs–Get 50 percent off any sub at Firehouse Subs the day after the Texans win. You must wear your Texans’ gear! Hats, shirts, socks and basically anything Texans!Palais Royal–Get 40 percent off one item at Palais Royal the day after a Texans’ win! Simply say “Go Texans.”TUESDAYFuddruckers–No win required! Tuesday all season, get a buy one get one free Texans Burger when you wear your Texans gear to Fuddruckers.Sonic–Get a free Texans slush at Sonic Tuesdays after a Houston Texans win. The Texans slush is a blend of cranberry & cherry to get that Texans’ red!"

Updates on Brandon Brooks, Duane Brown – by Deepi Sidhu, HoustonTexans.com

"With both Duane Brown and Brandon Brooks out with injuries, the Texans managed to reshuffle offensive linemen in the 19-9 victory over Tampa Bay.Head coach Bill O’Brien feels optimistic about the health of his starting left tackle and starting right guard.“I think Brooks will be fine,” O’Brien said Monday. “I think that Duane in a similar conversation to like the Arian (Foster) thought there, I think Duane is very close to being back to being able to play.”Brooks left Sunday’s game before halftime with an ankle injury. He had his ankle taped up and prepared to return, but was unable to get back in the game for the second half.“I just got rolled up on,” Brooks said. “It’s pretty painful but part of the game – a work hazard. Anytime you got your teammates out there you really want to go out there and help them out no matter what it is.”"

28 observations from Texans vs. Buccaneers – by John Harris, HoustonTexans.com

"It wasn’t the prettiest looking win, but the fact that the Texans walked out of NRG Stadium victorious was all that mattered. The 19-9 win over Tampa Bay was flush with drama all the way throughout, until Kyle Brindza’s fourth quarter field goal attempt with 0:24 seconds remaining went wide left. Here are my observations from Sunday’s win.1. When Bill O’Brien said there was going to be more focus on the run game, he wasn’t kidding. The ability to stick to the run game paid off as he noted in his press conference after the game. It paid massive dividends in the fourth quarter when it mattered the most.2. Rookie Benardrick McKinneygot the start at the linebacker position opposite Brian Cushing. He was amped up, seriously jacked up but he settled in as he got his tackle for a loss on the season with some help from Cushing and J.J. Watt on the play. Speaking of Watt…3. …on that same play, he did something I’m just, well, speechless. The Bucs doubled him on the play, but he tried to initially split the double with a swim move. When he realized that his swim move wasn’t going to get him free, he immediately dropped to a knee to split the double team the way most defensive linemen are taught. The fact that he tried to get free one way and then quickly transitioned and created a pile right in the hole was just awesome.4. Safety Quintin Demps was adamant that he picked off Jameis Winston’s first pass. As Marc Vandermeer said on the broadcast, it was a “tie goes to the runner” or offensive player, it appeared. Watching back on replay, I’m not totally sure he was wrong. Demps had one, could’ve actually had three.5. Early on Tampa Bay’s first drive of the game, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel showed the Buccaneers a few different looks. The one that really caught my attention was when he placed Jadeveon Clowney inside on the same side as J.J. Watt. Tampa decided to run away from them. That didn’t work. The way that Clowney situated himself, he looked like he was an old school, Mean Joe Greene slanted nose. On the snap, he just drove right guard Ali Marpet directly into the backfield to create chaos in the blocking scheme. Then, he wrapped up Doug Martin for the tackle for a loss. Highly, HIGHLY impressive.6. On the Texans scoring drive, holy cow, the Texans interior line combo of Oday Aboushi, Ben Jonesand Brandon Brooks completely obliterated the Bucs interior defenders. I mean, they drove dudes way off the ball."

Next: Houston Texans: Five thoughts following first win

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