CINCINNATI- The Texans evened their record at 3-3 after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 28-17 on Sunday. Following the game, members of the Texans spoke to the media about the big win.
Head coach Gary Kubiak Quarterback Matt Schaub Tight end Owen Daniels Defensive end Connor Barwin Linebacker DeMeco Ryans Wide receiver Andre Johnson Linebacker Brian Cushing
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the win) "Yeah, that's a big win. We came in here against a heck of a football team. We made our share of mistakes, but were able to come out on top against a good football team."
(on game balls) "I gave them to (Brian) Cushing - I think he forced two fumbles and had an interception - and Matt (Schaub), who continues to put up exceptional numbers on the road."
(on the Texans' defense) "They just keep getting better. We went more athletic with our front the last three weeks, and the players have responded."
(on veteran defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina) "This guy has played the most consistent football for us out of anyone we have. I don't care if he's 50. He belongs out there."
(on rookie Brian Cushing) "He makes his biggest plays during the toughest times in games. He's a tough competitor. It probably stems from the types of games he played in week-in and week-out in college."
(on wide receiver Andre Johnson) "We struggled to get him (open) a couple of times out in space. The first play of the game was a great indicator of his mindset today. He's making big plays. He's got to be on pace for one of his best years."
(on if he was nervous trying to close out the game) "We got ourselves in some great situations, but we don't always capitalize on them. We have to find a way to close those games. Regardless, we overcame it."
(on the magnitude of the win) "It's huge. We try not to get caught up in the other team's record, but our team knew it was a big game. The guys played very well."
(on not scoring on possessions that began with good field position) "We had two great possessions. We gave it back to them both times and gave them points right before the half. When you're not a veteran team, those things can really send you in the wrong direction. What's encouraging is that we're starting to overcome those things."
(on if this win is a turning point for the team) "I don't think you turn the corner in one game. I think our guys understand that. They're learning more and more each week how hard it is to win in this league. The difference is a few plays here and there. This game is about the long haul. We have to come back next week and be just as good."
(on limiting running back Cedric Benson to 44 yards) "We went smaller this week up front. We've had five ends and three inside players, and it scares you, but we've been more active. Give Bill Kollar (assistant head coach) a lot of credit, he has done a hell of a job with that rotation."
Quarterback Matt Schaub
(on starting fast on offense) "We talked all week about starting fast and not waiting until the second half. We were able to establish being able to move the ball, although we had the field goal blocked. We were able to score in the first quarter, and we came out in the second half and showed we could score in the third quarter. It was a big tone setter for us to start the game and the second half (like that)."
(on his interception) "I missed that throw in the two-minute drill. They were able to turn that into three points that shouldn't have been there."
(on running back Steve Slaton) "It was huge for us...He caught passes off of some screens and moved the chains. He was a big factor today in our offense."
(on holding onto the lead against a team that's known for coming back strong) "They have had every game go down to the wire. Credit them for finding ways to win those games. It was a matter of putting the game away. We had a two-score lead, and we should have had another field goal to at least make it a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. Our defense made the interception late in the game and it played well all day."
(on loosening up the Bengals' defense with the quick pass to Andre Johnson) "Yes. A quarterback always loves when you throw it one yard and the receiver takes it 59 yards. You get it to your playmaker and let him make a play."
(on attacking the Bengals' secondary) "No. It was a scheme thing. We were seeing what they were doing and reacting to what they were doing and executing our game plan."
(on if he's in a comfort zone) "Yes. We are executing our plays and doing what we do naturally. We are making plays downfield. I can't talk enough about our offensive line and how it allows me to step up and have time. There are two young offensive guards in there."
**Tight end Owen Daniels
**(on his second touchdown catch) "I am happy that Matt (Schaub) gave me a chance to make a play on that ball. It's a play that we like to use in the red zone. I found myself jammed up between two lineman before I squeezed through it. I was able to stick my hand out and luckily, Nike makes a sticky glove and the ball stuck to it."
(on if the team sets up the run by passing) "We have so many weapons to utilize by throwing the ball. Even when we are not running the ball well, we find a way to move down the field by using the pass."
(on if beating the Bengals has added significance to him) "Yes. I liked their helmets when I was a kid. They were a really good team in the '80s, so it was cool for me to play here (at Paul Brown Stadium)."
(on the importance of scoring early in the second half) "We put the defense in a tough position in the first half. To go down by three points after a late turnover was a difficult situation. We needed to take the game over and we played awesome in the third quarter."
(on starting the season 2-1 on the road) "We talked all offseason (about the idea that) if we wanted to be a playoff team, we would need to be able to win on the road. We took a step in the right direction. Now, we need to be better at home."
Defensive end Connor Barwin
(on how many tickets he bought for friends and family) "I didn't have to buy them all, but I had about 70 friends and family here today."
(on collecting his first-career sack in Cincinnati) "It felt great, obviously. Cincinnati is a special place for me. It's weird that it happened here. It's a blessing that it did. More importantly, it felt good for me to make a play for my teammates and to help our team win."
Defensive coordinator Frank Bush
(on his defense shutting out Cincinnati in the second half) "The scheme that we were running put everyone in specific gaps. Everyone did their job by defeating the man in front of them and keeping their running game in check. Guys like (Brian) Cushing and DeMeco (Ryans) played off of the defensive linemen and made plays for us."
(on why rookie linebacker Brian Cushing has done well) "Because he's a good football player. He's smart and aggressive, and he plays with the type of temperament that we like. He's not a guy that will take chances, but he's the guy who will get off of blocks and make plays."
(on the defense gaining confidence) "I do feel more comfortable when I have to make a call than I may have earlier in the season. I don't feel handcuffed that a guy is not going to do his responsibility. I feel really good about where we are going as a defense. Those kids give me a lot of confidence when I have to make a call."
(on the key to the defense today) "We won on third downs, and that allowed us to build confidence. We have had situations where we didn't win on third downs, and guys started to go the other way. This time, we won on third downs and guys were feeling good about it. Even when we were close but didn't (stop them), guys knew we were close to making plays."
(on rookie Connor Barwin getting his first NFL sack) "I was extremely excited. You always want to see young guys play and play well. To come back to Cincinnati where he had some people watch him was exciting. Right now, he's a speed rusher. He will develop the power. He used his speed to make that play."
Linebacker DeMeco Ryans
(on the defense getting into a groove) "I feel like we are being a lot more consistent on defense. That's the key for us. We have had spurts of being good. We're putting together 60 minutes now."
(on when he felt the momentum swing in the Texans' favor) "When we got the first turnover and stopped their running game in the second half by not letting Cedric (Benson) get to the edge on us. I felt like we had that consistency in the game where we never allowed them to break the big play on us. We were holding them and getting off the field on third down."
(on limiting runing back Cedric Benson to fewer than 50 rushing yards) "We have come a long way. When we can limit the league's leading rusher the way we did, it was a good effort."
(on allowing a franchise-record low six yards in the third quarter) "We are getting better. That's what I like about it. We still have a lot of stuff to clean up, so we can be even better."
Wide receiver Andre Johnson
(on beating the Cincinnati Bengals convincingly) "We knew we had to come in and perform on the road. We felt we needed a win. We came in at halftime and the guys said we're not leaving here without a win. There were no speeches. It was the attitude."
(on Mario Williams saying the Texans have reached a turning point) "I feel the same way. After the game, I felt like, 'Let's go win another game.' That's the attitude. A win is a win. You can't be sad about a win. In order for us to go where we want to go, we can't be satisfied. I think the biggest thing about today's game is that we played football for a full 60 minutes for the first time this season."
(on if this win serves as an example of how good the Texans can be) "We moved the ball very well on offense. The defense played very, very well. We played together."
(on running back Steve Slaton) "Steve came into the game and he was really into it. He was talking in the huddle. He was excited."
Linebacker Brian Cushing
(on his play in the win) "My job is to go out there and make plays. They are a downhill-running team. I had the opportunity to force fumbles and make an interception when they had to fire away at us."
(on his interception) "I was on backside trips. I knew they like throwing the deep-over route. They had been throwing a lot of checkdowns. They needed a big play. I was able to cheat, read Carson's eyes and make an interception."