*Watch Texans TV on Tuesday, August 16 at 3:30 p.m. CT for head coach Gary Kubiak's live press conference.
Wade Phillips’ debut as Texans defensive coordinator was a smashing success. Just ask Greg McElroy.
The New York Jets’ backup quarterback was sacked five times in three quarters at Reliant Stadium on Monday night. The Texans had seven sacks overall – they had eight in the entire preseason last year –and 16 quarterback hits as they beat the Jets 20-16 in their preseason opener, which also served as the first look at Phillips’ 3-4 defense.
“I thought we did a good job,” Phillips said. “We played hard. We made some mistakes, obviously, but we’re looking for effort and assignment. I didn’t expect that many sacks, because most of the stuff we ran was base defense and we didn’t run any blitzes.”
“I think we should have had about 12 (sacks),” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. “We have to do a better job of wrapping up when we get there, but we had some young guys really doing a good job. Jesse and Bryan got there a couple times. I just thought, in general, you could see the aggressive nature of the defense, and we stayed away from giving up big plays.”
Most of the Texans’ starters played for about a quarter before giving way to backups. Rookie defensive end
“I think he was comfortable,” Phillips said. “He didn’t get ‘em (sacks), but we got ‘em probably because they were sliding towards him a lot. I thought he had a good outing.”
Undrafted rookie wide receiver
After falling behind 3-0 on New York’s first drive of the game, the Texans shut out the Jets for the rest of the first half. Leinart came in to start the second quarter and led the Texans to a 49-yard field goal by kicker
On the next series, Nading flattened McElroy for an eight-yard sack at the Jets’ 14-yard line, forcing a fumble that
The Jets cut the gap to 13-6 with a 35-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half. The Texans’ ensuing drive lasted just one play, as Leinart’s pass on first down was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted at the Houston 23-yard line. Four plays later, McElroy hit wide receiver Patrick Turner for a two-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 13.
With six minutes left in the game, the Jets went up by three on a 40-yard field goal by Nick Folk. The Texans were unable to answer offensively, but Braman and Friday got the ball back for Houston with a drive-ending sack at the New York seven-yard line.
Braman, a terror in the second half, sacked McElroy for a 10-yard loss with 21 seconds remaining. The game ended two plays later when McElroy chucked the ball toward the end zone after he already had scrambled 10 yards past the line of scrimmage.
"It was exciting to find a way to win the game there at the end because we played really, really exceptionally on the defensive side of the ball throughout the game," Kubiak said. "We had some struggles offensively, had some problems physically with some injuries that we’re trying to work through in the football game, but we have to step up and make plays at the end... That’s been a difference in our team. ”
Inactives: Wide receiver