Defensively, the Houston Texans fought valiantly against the Atlanta Falcons. Though it wasn’t enough to secure a Week 5 victory, there were moments when this unit showcased its talent.
This was especially noticeable in the run defense. The Atlanta Falcons possess one of the more run-heavy centric offenses in the NFL, with electric rookie Bijan Robinson and backup Tyler Allgeier dominating touches out of the backfield.
The Texans made them work for every yard and did an excellent job at limiting their efficiency, with the two Atlanta backs combining for 31 attempts and 86 total rushing yards. That mark of 2.7 yards per carry is the lowest mark allowed all season. Add in a forced fumble during a Bijan Robinson rush attempt, and you have the most complete performance to date in that facet.
With the ground game being taken away for Atlanta, they had to rely on the passing game more than usual, with the team turning in solid results. Three Atlanta receivers recorded six or more receptions, with sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder routinely dicing up the Texans' defense through the air.
The biggest reason for this? A struggle to rush the passer. The Texans' defensive line failed to record a single sack on the afternoon and had minimal pressure, resulting in plenty of time for Atlanta to let plays develop.
While the secondary is an area of strength for Houston and held their own again in this contest, they can’t keep a tight blanket on opposing receivers forever. The pass rush and secondary benefit greatly from one another, with the former struggling immensely. This was a major culprit in the Texans' loss.
Overall, while one area of the defense showed great improvement, the other showed slight regression. 21 points allowed isn’t a terrible margin, but cohesion is key to a complete defensive performance. That simply wasn’t there for the Houston Texans.