After their Week 15 performance, the Texans defense is the best in the NFL, allowing just 306.5 yards per game.
"I just thought the defense played an excellent football game, a lot of guys stepped up," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Proud of the effort, missing five starters and now they're ranked the No. 1 defense in the NFL. The key is they got to keep it going but I thought they did an excellent job yesterday against what I think is an explosive offense so that's good job by them."
The Texans defense held the Jaguars to just nine first downs and 150 net yards of offense. Blake Bortles was 12-of-28 for 92 yards, one interception, and a 36.6 passer rating. Houston's defense recorded two sacks, five quarterback hits, seven passes defensed, and two forced fumbled in the 21-20 win.
"RAC (Romeo Crennel) was on the money with his calls," O'Brien said. "We have a very difficult defense to go against, like I said, a lot of guys stepped up.
With the best defensive player in the league out for the year, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has dialed up a game plan that works week after week, no matter who is in the starting lineup. J.J. Watt and second-year cornerback Kevin Johnson both landed on injured reserve earlier in the year. In Sunday's win against Jacksonville, Crennel was without three more starters on defense, Whitney Mercilus, Johnathan Joseph, and John Simon.
The Texans defense also ranks second in the NFL in passing yards, allowing just 203.5 yards per game (Denver, 183.0).
Take a look at some photos of the Houston Texans warming up for Sunday's game against the Jaguars.