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J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing step up in 30-24 OT win vs. TEN

Posted Sep 15, 2013

J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing each contribute a pair of sacks in the Texans 30-24 overtime win against Tennessee.

The Texans have won their last seven games decided by one score, including their first two contests of 2013. J.J. Watt is enjoying the Texans 2-0 start but wishes for less dramatic finishes.

“It’s probably not the best for your blood pressure, but we find a way to win and that’s all that matters,” Watt said after Sunday’s 30-24 overtime win against the Titans.

Watt had two sacks for a loss of ten yards, five tackles, and two passes defensed. With offenses now adjusting for Watt, the AP Defensive Player of the Year has elevated his game to the next level with the help of his teammates.

“You have to face double teams and you have to grind through some blocks,” Watt said. “You have to chase things down from the backside. You just have to find a way, but, at the same token, it’s nice to have a guy like Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) out there who, if they’re going to try and do a little game planning on me, Cuhs will make them pay or (DE) Antonio (Smith) will make them pay. Guys on the back end will make them pay. That’s a good sign of a team when a team tries to make one adjustment and the other team forces them to make another adjustment. It’s a nice problem to have.”

Cushing, in his first home appearance since his ACL injury last October, led the defense with 11 tackles and two sacks for a net loss of nine yards. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been pleased with the inside linebacker’s performance this season.

“Yeah, Cush had another outstanding game,” Phillips said. “He’s a big time player. He came through. They didn’t make as many yards, but they made a couple of touchdowns, and we’d like to get those back, but I thought we played really good.”

The Texans defense held the Titans to four yards of total offense in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Titans put up 14 unanswered points to extend their lead to 24-16 with 4:59 remaining. Jake Locker marched the Titans down the length of the field for a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Delanie Walker. Despite his performance, Cushing was not pleased with the 99-yard drive by Tennessee.

“Obviously, it was a huge point in the game when we're up 16-10," Cushing said. "We let them drive right down us and go up and get the lead. It's a sickening feeling. But we didn't quit; we didn't quit. And obviously, there was an interception for a touchdown and we got down. But I think it shows so much character for a team to come back and score those points, get the two point conversion, and head into overtime to win the game.”

The (2-0) Texans will travel to Baltimore to face the (1-1) Ravens on Sunday, September 22.

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