CINCINNATI, OH (December 6, 2012) – Led by more stellar play from their offensive line, the HOUSTON TEXANS clinched their second consecutive playoff berth with a 24-10 victory over the TENNESSEE TITANS. The Texans are the only team with a perfect road record (6-0). Houston also set a new franchise record for wins in a season with 11. The Texans' offensive line allowed two hits and no sacks on quarterback MATT SCHAUB (Virginia) who threw for 207 yards, 2 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. With Week 4 and Week 13 honors, the Houston Texans' offensive line remains a strong contender for the fourth annual Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award.
The Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award recognizes the backbone of every NFL team…the offensive line. John Madden, for whom the Award is named, has been praising these unsung heroes for decades and serves as the ambassador for this unique Award, honoring the best Offensive Line in the National Football League. The Award serves to celebrate the loyal teammates in the trenches that most consistently provide the time and protection that is critical to their teammates' and overall team's success.
"Houston is having a great season. They clinched their division and their offensive line is a huge reason why," said Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach JOHN MADDEN.
The 2012 Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award winner will be announced during the week of Super Bowl XLVII, which will be played on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans. Past Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award recipients include the New Orleans Saints (2009, 2011) and the New England Patriots (2010).
Starting in the trenches on Sunday for the Texans were tackles DUANE BROWN (Virginia Tech) and RYAN HARRIS (Notre Dame); guards WADE SMITH (Memphis) and BEN JONES (Georgia); and center CHRIS MEYERS (Miami-Fla). JOHN BENTON serves as the offensive line coach for the Texans and is entering his seventh season with the team. The offensive line performed well even with the absence of key starters, ANTOINE CALDWELL (Alabama) and DEREK NEWTON (Arkansas State). The Texans 11-1 record ties them for the best record in the NFL along with the ATLANTA FALCONS. The offensive line also set the stage for ARIAN FOSTER (Tennessee) and JUSTIN FORSETT (California) who combined for 102 yards rushing.
Other offensive lines from around the league delivering powerful protection during Week 13 were the BUFFALO BILLS (344 total yards, 112 passing yards, 232 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 2 QB hits allowed,),the DENVER BRONCOS (333 total yards, 242 passing yards, 91 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 0 QB hits allowed), the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (355 total yards, 197 passing yards, 158 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 3 QB hits allowed) ,and the WASHINGTON REDSKINS (370 total yards, 163 passing yards, 207 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 2 QB hits allowed).
Previous Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award winners throughout the 2012 season are: Week 1- Washington Redskins, Week 2- Carolina Panthers, Week 3- New York Giants, Week 4- Houston Texans, Week 5- San Francisco 49ers, Week 6- New York Giants, Week 7- San Francisco 49ers, Week 8- Denver Broncos, Week 9- Indianapolis Colts, Week 10- Minnesota Vikings, Week 11- New England Patriots and Week 12- San Francisco 49ers.