The day after the Texans fell to 1-2 with a 31-24 loss to Jacksonville, coach Gary Kubiak and a couple of players spoke with the media.
Stopping the big play: For the third consecutive week, the Texans gave up a few costly big plays. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew peeled off a 61-yard second quarter touchdown run to give the Jaguars a 17-14 advantage. Quarterback David Garrard also scrambled for 30 yards on a play and handed off to Mike Thomas on a 22-yard reverse for another huge chunk of yardage.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak says it needs to stop.
"It's time for us, in a game, to be consistent in how we're doing something," Kubiak said of his team's defensive lapses. "It's hurting us very badly."
Kubiak explained further, saying that Jones-Drew's long score came on a play that his defense had seen earlier in the contest.
"The first play of the game, they ran the exact same play and we were in the exact same defense," Kubiak said. "Then 24 or 25 plays later, they run the exact same play. We were in the exact same defense. We decided to do something different. That's what's hurting our football team. That is what is confusing: why we shouldn't have the consistency. They get one yard on the first play of the game. They got 61 on the next play of the game."
Defensive end Antonio Smith, who tallied a pair of tackles in the loss, thinks the defense is trying hard but not necessarily trying the right way.
"I don't see a lack of effort," Smith said. "I see people running to the ball, trying to make plays. It's just that you've got to be in the right place at the right time. Gap integrity is important in this defense."
Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing, who finished the game with a team-high eight total tackles, also is frustrated about the lack of consistency by he and his defensive mates.
"We have to find a way on an every-down basis to be reliable and know that every guy is going to be where he has to be," Cushing said on Monday in the locker room. "Whether that is more film, more meetings, whatever, we have to get it done."
Health of the team: Unlike the Tennessee game, when the Texans lost stalwart offensive guard Chester Pitts for the season, Kubiak's club escaped without any starters leaving due to injury. He was, however, concerned about backup linebacker/special teams maven Chaun Thompson, who went down with a knee injury.
"We'll have to evaluate that here in the next 24 hours and make a decision on where are headed with him," Kubiak said. "Other than that, we've just got a bunch of nicks; just a bunch of guys beat up. It was a physical game, and hopefully we'll get all of them back. Hopefully André Davis is coming back this week, ready to go."
Kubiak also said cornerback Antwaun Molden (quadriceps) is day-to-day and cornerback Jacques Reeves (fibula) might be back against the Raiders.
Also, receiver David Anderson went in for X-rays because of an aching back but checked out fine.
"He just got a good shot to his back," Kubiak said of Anderson, who finished with a pair of receptions for 13 yards. "He's OK. He's just sore as heck, but he was OK today."
Positives from the game: When he was pressed today for any bright spots from Sunday's loss to the Jaguars, Kubiak said that he liked what his offense was able to do.
"We moved the ball pretty good yesterday," Kubiak said. "We had our chances and should've scored 38 points. Ball movement average was 6.8 yards a play. That would lead the NFL, so there are some good things going on there."
Also saying positive things was Cushing, who's ready for the next opportunity to play on Sunday versus Oakland.
"It's only Monday, but we're going to be right back to work," Cushing said. "That's one of the things about this team is that we're going to fight. The game was yesterday. We're over it. Our next goal is Oakland now."
Kubiak also was pleased with the play on special teams.
"We're not making any big plays, but they were consistent in their coverage," Kubiak said. "There were some good things going on from the standpoint that will give you a chance to win on Sunday."
Ready for the Raiders: The Texans play their second consecutive home game Sunday against Oakland. They'll face a one-win ballclub that's mustered just 36 points through three games this season. Yesterday at home against Denver, the Raiders' only score was a second-quarter field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as they fell to the Broncos by a 23-3 margin.
But Kubiak is still impressed by what the Raiders are capable of defensively, especially with cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
"He's the best corner I've seen in the game in awhile," Kubiak said. "He's capable of shutting anybody down. He's a great player. But Andre (Johnson) is a great player, so it's a challenge for Andre. He may follow Andre all over the field, he may not."