A quarterback matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 overall draft picks instead turned into a defensive battle between the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
"They're 0-6, they're playing with their backs against the wall at home as well as coming off the bye," Jonathan Greenard said "So we've been there. We understand how that goes and understand what type of team that is. And you give any team like that any chance of hope, they can run with it. At the same time, hats off to them. They had a hell of a game plan. Their defense turned it into a battle of defenses and they just got the better of us at the end."
The Texans defense allowed just one touchdown on four Carolina red-zone trips, including a fourth-down stop at the Houston two-yard line in the second quarter. After multiple lead changes, Houston eventually fell 15-12 following a 23-yard field goal in the final seconds. The Texans recorded 10 quarterback hits, nine tackles for loss and sacked Bryce Young six times in his first NFL win. Young completed 22-of-31 passes for 235 yards and just one touchdown.
"Our guys got pressure up front," Head Coach DeMeco Ryans said. "Front four, they were able to get pressure. We just got to be better all the way across the board when we need it in crunch time, we still got to be better."
Greenard finished with a career-high and team-high 2.5 sacks in addition to six combined tackles (three solo), four quarterback hits and two tackles for loss on the day. Maliek Collins also recorded a pair of sacks, three quarterback hits and one tackle for loss.
"They made plays for us in critical moments," Ryans said. "Big-time sacks there."
The defense held Young and the Panthers to 224 net yards of offense (180 yards passing, 44 yards rushing). With the loss, the Texans fall to 3-4 on the season and return home to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9.