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J.J. Watt, Christian Covington spearhead strong defensive effort

The Texans defense allowed just 17 points in Monday night's win, and defensive end J.J. Watt was one of the big reasons why.

But so was Christian Covington. And Whitney Mercilus. And Jadeveon Clowney. And so on, and so on.

"One of the strengths of our team is obviously our front," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "It's probably stating the obvious. We have really dynamic players up front. J.J. Watt, great football player, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus. But then there's guys maybe you don't hear a lot about. D.J. Reader, Christian Covington. Angelo Blackson."

That front 7 hit quarterback Marcus Mariota eight times in the 34-17 victory at NRG Stadium, and also limited the Titans running backs duo of Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis to just 38 yards on 15 carries.

"Our defense is all about guys making plays," Watt said. "Never know where it's going to come from, but someone's going to make a play. Tonight was another example."

Watt finished with 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a tackle for loss and nine tackles on the night. It was a vintage Watt effort, where he registered numbers across the stat sheet in a Texans win. But joining him in that effort was Covington, who tallied 2.5 sacks and two tackles for loss. Watt said "Cov had an unbelievable night", and Covington pushed the praise back at Watt.

"J.J. was a big part of that today," Covington said. "We just kept feeding off of each other. The rest of the defense kept feeding off of each other. So, it was just a solid team win."

Watt now has 11.5 sacks in 2018, which is tops in the AFC and second in the NFL. He shares the League lead in forced fumbles this season with five.

Mercilus finished with 1.5 sacks, and explained the Texans goals defensively headed into matchup with Tennessee.

"We knew coming into this we had to stop the run, first of all," Mercilus said. "Get them into 3rd-and-long situations. Mariota, he still got out, especially when we were playing off, in Tampa 2 coverage. But it was a big thing to get pressure on him. Get him rattled."

The Texans have Tuesday off, but will get back to work on Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. They host the Brown at NRG Stadium Sunday at noon.

The Houston Texans fans came out big today, bringing the Texans an incredible homefield advantage resulting in a win over the Titans.

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