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Postgame notebook: Texans vs. Bills


Quarterback Matt Schaub and head coach Gary Kubiak confer during the Texans' 31-10 victory at Buffalo

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -The Texans improved to 5-3 for the first time in team history with their 31-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Doubt about Daniels: On the Texans' first offensive series, tight end Owen Daniels picked up 22 yards. It was his lone catch of the day, as Daniels left the game on the next series with a sprained right knee. His return to play in 2009 is not likely.

Coach Gary Kubiak said after the game that the injury did "not look good.".

"I've gotta go see the docs and get an MRI and all that good stuff tomorrow morning," Daniels said. "We'll know for sure then. It doesn't feel good."

The injury occurred in the first quarter on the Texans' second drive of the game after Schaub threw incomplete to Kevin Walter. Daniels went down to the turf on the play and was helped off the field by the training staff.

"I was just running a route," he said. "There was some contact, but it wasn't anything more than that."

Although they were able to win without Daniels, the Texans were certainly disappointed to lose the man who caught five touchdowns in the season's first seven games.

"Obviously, Owen brings a great skillset to our offense and opens things up for us down the middle in mismatches on linebackers and safeties," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "He'll definitely be missed. I don't know if you can replace a guy like Owen Daniels, but we have guys that we have confidence in that will step in and play well for us."

Notable numbers: With a 21-point margin of victory, a few glaring statistics were found in the aftermath. The Texans dominated the Bills in time of possession by nearly a two-to-one margin (39:08 to 20:52) and also ran 31 more plays on offense than Buffalo (76 to 45).

It's the sixth time in 2009 that the Texans won the time of possession battle, and they're 5-1 in those games. The 39:08 against the Bills is the second-best mark in franchise history, trailing only last season's 40:04 against Detroit.

The Bills picked up just nine first downs the entire game. The Texans' defense bewildered Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, sacking him twice, picking him off twice and allowing a mere 107 passing yards on a 15-of-23 performance.

"This team's familiar with him, we played against him in Cincinnati last year," linebacker Brian Cushing said. "We knew he was a capable quarterback and we knew he could get out and run. So that was another concern, to get that pressure on him, contain him as best as we can running and throwing."

The defense stonewalled the Bills in the second half, not allowing any points and holding Buffalo to just 77 net yards after the intermission.

"I'm happy with the guys," defensive coordinator Frank Bush said. "They put up a tremendous effort. They were faced with some tough situations and they didn't miss a beat. They just kept coming right back."

{QUOTE}Bush explained that the defense's effort was so impressive because of a very simple reason.

"We were fundamentally sound," he said. "Our kids did exactly what we asked them to do. They played with a lot of passion. They played hard, and they never panicked when they had tough situations."

Bush also didn't hesitate when asked what defender was the key to his unit playing so effectively.

"Absolutely: 59," Bush said of middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who finished the game with eight total tackles. "He's the quarterback of our defense. He's the guy."

Raves about the rookie: For the sixth time this season, Cushing led the Texans in tackles. The rookie notched a team-high 10 total stops and also added a sack and an interception, his second of the season. The first-round draft pick from Southern California continues to make an impact, and Bush said Cushing is still improving.

"Every week, there's another story," Bush said. "He just keeps getting better and better and better. We keep giving him a little bit more and a little bit more. DeMeco does a tremendous job of keeping him moving in the right direction, but the kid just keeps getting better and better."

Just like Cushing's interception against Cincinnati in Week 6, his pick on Sunday came in the fourth quarter and clinched a victory for the Texans.

"I was actually supposed to be rushing and I lucked out a little bit," Cushing said. "I got a hand on it, it popped up and I was able to catch it. I was able just to seal the game."

Kudos for Kris: Kicker Kris Brown is the only player who has been in every Texans game since the team entered the league in 2002. Sunday against the Bills was a productive afternoon for him.

Brown scored in his 92nd consecutive game when he hit a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter. He added a 22-yarder in the second, a 26-yarder in the third and two extra points in the fourth quarter.

Afterward, he talked about the team being 5-3 for the first time in franchise history.

"I'm excited about the kind of football we're playing right now," Brown said. "We're proving that we can win games. Offensively, we're capable of scoring a lot of points, and certainly defensively, the last couple of weeks we've played really well. And we've done some good things special teams-wise."

Brown also liked that the Texans battled back for the win despite turning the ball over three times in the opening quarter.

"That's been the exciting part about this team: In the past, we might not have come out and played this well," he said. "You turn the ball over three times in the first quarter, you have a guy like O.D. go down, and we just hung in there."

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