It's been a long time since the Texans' defense has allowed a touchdown.
10 quarters, to be exact.
On Monday Night Football in Cincinnati, Houston kept the Bengals out of the end zone, and pulled out a 10-6 victory.
"It was great," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "You can't ask for more out of your defense than what they gave us."
In the second half, especially, the Texans clamped down on Cincinnati, as they gave up just 94 yards of offense and allowed the Bengals to convert just one of their six third down attempts. The last time an opposing offense scored a touchdown against Houston was in the second quarter of the Week 7 loss to the Dolphins.
It was a suffocating effort on Monday, and for the third time in as many games as quarterback T.J. Yates has played against the Bengals, the defense was the deciding factor. Yates guided the Texans to a regular season victory and Wild Card Playoff win against the same franchise in 2011.
"The thing that has happened all three times is great defense," Yates said. "I'm glad we got in there early and got a score, but the defense held them to six points all game long. That's amazing against that offense."
The Bengals boasted a talented running back tandem in Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill. But the Texans limited that duo to a combined 51 yards on 15 carries.
A.J. Green led the Bengals with just 67 yards on 5 catches. It was a sterling defensive effort by Houston, and it was the second impressive game in a row by that side of the ball.
"We're starting to click," cornerback Kevin Johnson said. "We're starting to gel — playing fast, playing with emotion, and making plays."
For defensive end J.J. Watt, who finished with a sack, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits, the triumph was sweet, and might set the team up for good things during the final seven games.
"It's a big win," Watt said. "It starts the second half of your season on the right foot. It puts you in a position where everything's in front of you."
The Texans host the Jets on Sunday at NRG Stadium.
Check out the action from the Texans at Bengals Monday Night Football matchup.