Join Date: Dec 2008
Texans' defense says "its on us"
After holding a fifth straight opponent to 14 points or less in a 20-13 win over the Jaguars, a couple of Texans defenders, starting with lead headhunter Brian Cushing, sounded a bit like Ray Lewis did with the Super Bowl contending Ravens and Warren Sapp with the championship-level Buccaneers.
Remember when Lewis and Sapp were so confident in their defense’s ability to dominate, that they basically told the offense to just put up a couple of touchdowns every week, and don’t turn the ball over and the D would deliver a victory?
In 2000, the Raves had a stretch in which they didnt allow more than 14 points in 10 of 11 games and the most they gave up in four playoff victories was 10 points. The 2002 Buccaneers held opponents to two touchdowns or fewer 10 times, and gave up only six and 10 in the playoffs before winning the Super Bowl in a 48-21 rout.
The Texans, second in the league in points allowed at 16.3 ppg, say they are working toward having that type of defense.
“It’s almost there, but were still getting better,” Cushing said. “We have it in our mind to go out and dominate every week, and a lot of it is about confidence. If you’re confident that you’re going to play well, you tend to play well. We have that confidence.
“It doesn’t matter who is at quarterback or how many points we score. It’s our job to shut the other team down.”
When the Texans looked up at a 20-10 lead at halftime, the defense looked at each other and said, “That’s enough.”
“We say it every time, that the game is on us,” reserve corner Brice McCain said. “We knew 20 points were enough for us to win the game. We knew that if they didn’t score, we would win the game. We didn’t need any more points.
“It doesn’t matter how many points it is, we don’t care if it’s 3-0, just get a lead and we’re going to hold it down.”
• • •
Some wise guy, possibly a teammate, or maybe an assistant coach or team equipment man, posted a sheet of paper in Brian Cushing’s locker before the game.
The page, under the title “Owned,” had the definition of the word on it and listed all the huge days Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew had had in his career against Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, beginning with his days at UCLA, when he did well against Cushing’s alma mater USC. Jones-Drew has had a host of good days against the Texans, including a couple since Cushing joined the team in 2009.
I believe a couple of the statistics were fudged to make Jones-Drew look better and Cushing worse, in an effort to fire up the Texans linebacker, who you have paid any attention to how he plays, doesn’t exactly need to be fired up.
(Do yourself a favor and checkout the first 20 seconds of the NFL Films Sound FX from the Cleveland game, when Cushing told teammates before the game that he was willing to go out on the first series of the game by himself on defense. “If y’all want me to I’ll go out there by myself, I’ll do it. Seriously. One versus 11? I like my odds.” The boy is nuts.)
Jones-Drew ended having a nice day (99 yards rushing, 67 receiving) as the lone offensive threat for Jacksonville and Cushing had a solid day with seven tackles.
The Texans got the last laugh with the 20-13 win, so I wouldn’t say Jones-Drew owned Cushing on this day, but it was still kind of funny that somebody had the nerve to call out Cushing before the game.
Cushing joked that maybe Jones-Drew snuck into the Texans’ locker room and put it up. And the two had some words during the game, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Cushing said Jones-Drew didn’t take it too kindly when he asked him what he had done the night before. USC pummeled UCLA 50-0 Saturday night.