Notes from the Texans’ 31-25 victory at Denver in Week 3 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High:
Watt dominates – again
Watt now has 5.5 sacks through three games, already matching his 2011 season total. The second-year defensive end from Wisconsin ranks first in the AFC in sacks and second in the NFL behind Green Bay’s Clay Matthews. Watt leads the Texans with 15 tackles, one more than
“He’s playing out of his mind right now,” Texans running back
In his last five games, including the 2011 playoffs, Watt has 29 tackles (23 solo), nine sacks, 11 tackles for loss, one interception, one touchdown, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery. Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said Watt is playing as well as any defensive lineman in the league.
“He’s a top player,” Phillips said. “We’ve said it all along, and he just continues to be that. I‘m glad he’s on our team.”
Johnson beat perennial Pro Bowler Champ Bailey with an out route on the play, but he gave all the credit to quarterback
“Matt gave me a chance,” Johnson said. “I went to Matt earlier before we got the ball and said, ‘I’ve been playing like [expletive]. Just give me a chance. Don’t give up on me.’ He came to me and said that I’ve been playing too much football to get down on myself. He gave me the opportunity, and I was able to make a play.”
Johnson thought he played poorly despite beating cornerback Tracy Porter with a double move for a 60-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
“There was just some plays that I felt like I left out on the field,” he said. “You try to have short-term memory, forget about it and move on, but for some reason, I don’t know, I just got down on myself and it just kind of affected me throughout the game.”
Johnson was likely upset about two sensational catches that he almost made on deep passes from Schaub in the third quarter. One came on the first play of the second half, the other on the play on which Schaub was hit late by Broncos linebacker Joe Mays. On the latter play, the ball bounced off Johnson's leg as he tried to make a juggling catch past Bailey in the end zone.
Protect the ball
Before the Texans turned the ball over on a
“Like I tell (the players), if we protect the football, I think we’re going to be very happy as a football team at the end of the season,” Kubiak said. “But if we turn it over, we’re going to be in trouble, and we got ourselves into some trouble, but we had the character to still get out of here with the win.”
Offensive line rotation
The Texans continued a rotation at right guard, and they may have started a rotation at right tackle.
At right guard, starter
At right tackle,
Schaub has only been sacked three times this season and was sacked just once on Sunday.
“It looks great, but I can tell you that he’s getting hit too much," Kubiak said. "We played Ryan Harris some in the game. You guys saw that, so we’ve got to continue to take a hard look at ourselves. But (Schaub’s) the key to what we do, and we can’t come out of those games telling him he did a great job of getting rid of the ball but taking 10 or 12 big hits in the game, and he did today, so we’ve got to protect him better.”
Eight different Texans players caught a pass against Denver, a new season-high. Second-year wide receiver
“We had a lot of guys make big plays in the game,” Kubiak said. “Lestar Jean makes a huge play. Garrett Graham makes a big play. Kevin Walter… exceptional. We knew it would take everybody.”
In addition to losing a small piece of his left ear, Schaub went to the locker room for X-rays on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in the third quarter. He said he was fine. Schaub did not miss any plays because of his shoulder and was only in the locker room for a matter of minutes.
The following Texans players were inactive on Sunday: rookie wide receiver
Dobbins, the Texans’ special teams captain, missed the game with a hamstring injury. He was the only injured player among the inactives. Second-year outside linebacker