They Challenged and Won the Air Battles
Stopping the pass was a key for the Houston Texans against the Cincinnati Bengals. Few teams have as good of an air attack as the Bengals, and with how bad the pass defense has been, any positive outing would be one to build upon. The Texans were going to need to prove they could keep up with the better passers in the league and there was no better test for the improving Texans than the Bengals.
Luckily for the Texans, they got back a key player in Derek Stingley, Jr., who had a nice and modest impact on the Bengals as a whole. Yet, it was linebacker Christian Harris and cornerback Shaquill Griffin who had the biggest impact against the passing game. At least according to Pro Football Focus.
PFF gave both men grades of 85 or higher, which is a remarkably high figure from the outlet. Fellow corner Steven Nelson also received a positive grade, earning a 71.6 for his efforts. While Ja'Marr Chase had over 120+ yards on just five receptions, and Tyler Boyd also broke 100 yards, Burrow did get picked off twice by this developing defense.
If the Texans can key up a few turnovers a game going forward, then this defense will be one to truly fear.