I'm doing this in two halves since this game seems to be the tale of two halves. In "the good half" the Texans score 21 unanswered points and only let the opposing offense across the 50 once when #23 is caught cheating. DEFENSE first half From a defensive perspective I could almost cut and paste from last week. The front 7 does a near perfect job against the run and the back 8 is smart but aggressive against the pass. The guys that were in the dog house early in the season are a mirror image of the entire defense as they have done a complete 180 since week one. Pressure on the QB is an issue more so this week than last even though they get 2 sacks and almost 3. DL's Williams doesn't get much pressure in the first half. As best I can tell the sack on the first snap was a mistake from the WR who seemed to run a slant when the QB was looking for a quick pass to the sideline. One of the ways that 90 is so impressive though is is size and speed. Just by jumping and waving his arms around he's completely disruptive in the face of the QB. Then he's able to quickly attack the second the passer drops his throwing arm. He's still stellar against the run. Imagine if he was healthy. Okoye plays the best half I've ever seen him play against the run. He is amazing at the point of attack. He hold's his position magnificently allowing the LB's to attack at will. He even breaks off his (often two) blockers and makes key stops at the bottom of the piles. He doesn't look as impressive against the pass. He's not using his hands like he was last week that I can see. Cody plays similarly against the run except he seems to consistently get better penetration. Against the pass he's a bit more disruptive as well but not to the point that I feel complimentary. He nearly gets a sack right before the half with the help of a blitz. Smith is very explosive on some plays and seems tied up on others. I can give him the same evaluation I gave Cody. He get's pretty good penetration and is very good at standing his ground. Against the pass when he slides in he can be very good at making the pocket ugly but not really ever causing the QB to make adjustments or alter his throwing motion. Zgonina plays the best half I've ever seen him play. Makes takles against the run. Is unmoveable. Makes some trouble in the pass. Hell he even gets a sack (I can't really explain what the RG was doing but it wasn't pass blocking). Barwin is starting to look more violent at the point of attack. Instead of engaging and calling it a day he seems to be a bit more trouble (but not much) and I feel like I'm seeing his run awareness improving each week. Bulman generally ineffective against the pass and I can't recolect seeing him in against the run. Robinson is only in on a few plays and is, as always, extremely disruptive on the plays that I see him but get this... He's the only DT I see getting moved out of his gap at all. I can't figure out if it's because he's 2 yards in the backfield and therefore it looks like he's out of position or if he's just the only that is getting moved horizontally at all. Is it possible that DelJuan Robinson is no longer playing like the 2nd best DT on the Texans? How could I have come to this conclusion? It's been so obvious before. Here's why: The front 4 as a whole is absurdly effective against the run because they continue to maintain their gap integrity to the point of bordome from a viewing perspective. Nobody ever get's moved out of their gap ts. 91 is being attacked by two guys on occasion and he doesn't move at all. I can't figure it out. These are not 350 pounders. But all of them, from 90, 91, 95 and 94 it's like columns that the LB's fill with ease. Against the pass they are equally unmoveable... problem is, that's not really what we're going for against the pass. Unlike last week they don't seem to get much pressure that I can see. Nobody comes free for the most part when a blitz is called either and when they do get free it's never in time to have an effect other than Cody's almost sack. LB's Diles continues to be the 3rd best LB on the field but that's not so bad with this group. He sound again and makes no noticable mistakes that I can find. None. All I can come up with is that he's ineffective as a blitzer. He destroys Gore on a play as 59 is bringing him to the ground. This "mean" Frank Bush D will begin to take it's toll as this continues. Ryans brings it on every single play. He plays as perfect as I could invision him playing. This is not an over statement. Boring right? True too. Cushing overruns 1 play by about 3 feet as best I can tell and is able to correct by taking one extra step. I don't think this guy is going to pan out. They don't seem to be sending him on blitzes in the first half like they did last week. Against the run he's very solid but he's overshadowed by #59. He will be a consistent play maker though I can assure you. As the QB is sliding down on a scramble several players get a hit in but 56 takes a punch at the ball and that kind of stuff will pay off eventually. I'm not exaggerating when I say that these guys are playing 100% mistake free football. They are reading the runs perfectly and tackling perfectly. They are in position in coverage and effective in every phase except the blitzes. But being ineffective isn't a mistake to me. It's not good technique or physically they are being asked to do something that they aren't able to do well. It looks like they just engage. 56 was clearly better at this last week. DB's Robinson is not a factor because the QB doesn't throw to his side that I can remember. When he does he get's caught cheating and it allows the S.F. offense to cross midfield for the only time in the first half. He isn't a factor against the run because the RB's never get out of the backfield. He makes up for his pass interference by getting an offensive pass interference call by getting in the way. Reeves looks slightly sloppy in coverage on one deep out but that's being extrememly picky. It's a good route and a great throw. He doesn't seem to be a factor either in the run game. The QB isn't throwing to the CB's part of the field. Quin makes a great play on a screen and attacks before the block can take him out of the play. He continues to hit hard. He makes a great play early on to knock the ball away on an out route earlly to retire the side. Dudes gonna be a player. Pollard makes big time tackle on a reverse I believe. He continues to take good angles to the ball. Wilson is always in a good position as well. Does his job as well as he can from his position on the field. The DB's are facing a QB who is not making good decisions. They aren't really tested but when they are they are in position and the make plays and never put the team in jeopardy. (Other than 23's big pass interference play) I've never felt so impressed by how confident, intelligent and physical this defense is playing. But I can't help but wonder when we're going to look bad because we can't get any pressure on the QB. We're lucky to be playing against Shawn Hill. A good QB could expose us if we get this little pressure. We were better last week. Is S.F.'s Oline better than Cincy's? Is that what it is? I don't care about sacks. I care about pressure. Our QB get's pressured and he still looks great but hey, he's the #1 QB in the league... most guys wouldn't look that good under pressure.