The Texans beat the Broncos, 31-25, Sunday in Denver. After, coaches and players from both sides answered questions from the media.
HOUSTON TEXANS HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
"It's a big win. It's a tough place to play, a big road game early in the season and boy, we were playing really well. We let them back in the game with the fumble there in the fourth quarter. We had the character to still find a way to finish the game and get out of here with the win. I have a lot of respect for that organization, that team, but I'm really proud of our guys today. They hung in there and found a way to get it done."
On the nature of QB Matt Schaub's injury
"He got hit and his ear was bleeding real bad on the field, to be honest with you. That was the biggest reason he even came off the field, but he's fine. Boy, he played like a champ today. I knew…it's easy to say now…but I knew this guy would play well. He was very focused last night, as a player, I meet with him every night before the game. I'm always impressed, but I was extremely impressed last night by where he was going into this game and he really did a great job leading this team."
On Schaub bouncing back after getting hit
"He's taken too many hits, and I've told you all that. We're sitting here with two sacks, maybe, on the season and it looks great but I can tell you that he's getting hit too much. We played [T] Ryan Harris some in the game, you guys saw that, so we've got to continue to take a hard look at ourselves but he's the key to what we do and we can't come out of those games telling him he did a great job of getting rid of the ball but taking 10 or 12 big hits in the game, and he did today, so we've got to protect him better. But he was exceptional."
On returning to Denver
"I've been gone almost seven years now, but obviously this place has always been special to me. A lot of great friends here. Biggest thing, I've got the utmost respect for [Broncos Owner] Pat Bowlen and the organization. So I knew it would be a tough game for us, but I'm really proud of the Texan organization and our players who come in here and found a way to get a win."
On his impression of Schaub's injury – did he suspect a concussion?
"Our doctors…any time any player is on the field they go through the same protocol so the minute I went out there, [team doctor] Walt [Lowe] told me he's fine, he's got a big cut on his ear. So, obviously they took him off the field and I knew it would be a play or two before he came back, but he was obviously very sharp. He was talking to me out there and Walt follows the same procedure all the time."
On WR Andre Johnson's third-down catch
"I'll be honest with you, I didn't even see it. I'm always focused on what I have to call next, what I have to do next. I'm not going to change that play, so that's just the same way I've been my whole career, but I heard good things on the headset. It was huge. We needed to throw the ball, we had to force the issue at third and six, and Andre makes two big plays in the game. We had a lot of guys make big plays in the game. [WR] Lestar Jean makes a huge play. [TE] Garrett Graham makes a big play. Kevin Walter…exceptional. We knew it would take everybody and it doesn't surprise you when it's him when the money's on the line."
On keeping your guard up against Broncos QB Peyton Manning even when you are up 20 points
"You are exactly right. Not only him, but we were sitting there in great control. We were really probably running the ball as well as we had run it right there in that period and had control of the game and I think it was first and ten when we fumbled. First and ten with ten minutes left so I'm staring at an eight-minute game if I run it three times. So, those things are always going through my head and we busted. We just basically busted. We didn't block the defensive end but that's no excuse, we didn't hang on to the ball."
On his players facing Manning
"We had chances to make some big plays defensively, get our hands on some balls. We coach them all week that playing this guy [Manning], you're going to give up some plays and if you let it just run you in the ground then it's going to probably hurt you. The thing I wanted guys to do is know he's going to make some big plays. He's one of the greatest ever to throw the dang football. When they make a play just come back and play the next play and I think that's a characteristic that a good team has to have and we were able to let some things go and keep working, but we probably shouldn't have put them in that position to begin with"
On the 97-yard drive in the second quarter
"We knew we had to make some big plays. They challenged us, played a lot of man coverage. [Broncos defensive coordinator] Jack [Del Rio] got very aggressive in some of the things he did so I tried to give us chances to make big plays and we did. [WR] Andre [Johnson] makes a big play on the boot throwback early in the game. The throw that Matt made to [WR] Kevin [Walter] for a touchdown (52-yard pass, second quarter) was a tremendous play. But we knew we were going to have to make some big plays, it wasn't a percentage type throwing day because of the way they played us, but it was a big play throwing day so we were able to make those plays."
On awarding the game ball after the game
"I gave it to our quarterback. Like I said, I just think that he came in here and played gutsy and got banged around a little bit and stood in there for his football team. He's the leader of this football team and there's no doubt. They know they can count on him, and I was very impressed with him, so I gave it to him."
On targeting Broncos CB Tracy Porter
"I wouldn't say we target anybody, we're attacking scheme, attacking what they're doing on the back end, whether it's quarters, quarter-quarter-half, or man. But we knew that we would have to try to get the ball down the field because we had a lot of people committed to the run and, so, with that being said, we just came off a game where we played a team that played us in a bunch of two-deep. And we had to play the game totally different, and so we did what we had to do to win. Convinced them they had to make some big plays and they did."
On starting the season 3-0
"It's a great start. We finish the first quarter (of the season) this week, and like I tell them, if we protect the football, I think we're going to be very happy as a football team at the end of the season, if we protect the ball. But if we turn it over, we're going to be in trouble, and we got ourselves into some trouble, but we had the character to still get out of here with the win."
On other injuries
"[SS Quinn] Demps has got a thumb issue, I'm not quite sure exactly, but it's a thumb issue. We casted it and he did play the rest of the game."
HOUSTON TEXANS PLAYERS
QB MATT SCHAUB
On the turnaround between the early safety and long TD pass
"Yeah, you know, we gave them points early. We got backed up and we had a play-pass there and I just held it a split second too long. They have good pass rushers and you hate to start the game that way – putting points and obviously giving them a short field on the kick afterwards. But our defense really held up and played it extremely well. It was great to get back in the rhythm of the game and back on our script and be able to hit [WR] Andre (Johnson) for the big play that he did all the work on."
On being 3-0 for the first time ever
"It's a good step for us – it's a step in the right direction. You know, come in a place like this against a very good football team in week three in a very tough place to play and to come out with a W – we're extremely excited about it. It's a step forward, but we have to find a way to refocus and go for number four."
On teammates' praise
"It's the ultimate when your teammates feel that way about you. It's just me being the quarterback – you know, I have to be out there every play. You're going to get hit in this league and you just have to take it and go."
On third quarter hit
"I felt fine, you know, I just lost a little piece of my ear – I was bleeding and my helmet came off so I had to come out for a play, but I was fine."
On holding the ball a bit longer on some longer passes
"You hate to hold it too long because they have great pass rushers up the middle and on the edge and so you got to hold up the offensive line. All day they played their tails off and played extremely well in run and pass against a very good group. Their back-end is very stout as well and very tough to beat, but our receivers ran some great routes – and our tight-ends – to get open."
On using play-action for big plays
"The coverage matched up with what we were trying to do with the play-action and how our run game works – it all meshed and jived really well. Ultimately, it came down to those guys making those plays – Andre (Johnson) and [WR] Kevin (Walter) down the field."
On Broncos' LB Joe Mays apologizing after late-hit penalty
"I wasn't aware of it at the time, but after the game we shook hands and talked about it – no hard feelings – it's football. It's a physical, violent game. He said it wasn't nothing intentional – nothing personal and, hey, we move on."
On fumble in the fourth quarter
"You can't do that in this league – especially in that type of situation in the four-minute when you're trying to use the clock, get a first-down and end the game on the football field. You don't want to give the ball back to their offense and their quarterback with their weapons that they have because they can obviously strike pretty quickly. You don't want to do that to your defense and put them back out there, so we have to find a way to fix that."
On back-to-back road wins
"It just says we're a resilient football team – it's not always pretty. We turned it over a couple times and you can't do that on the road in this business – but when you do and you're team says we're not going to let this happen, we're not going to let this slip away from us – it says a lot about the makeup of our football team."
On first down pass to WR Andre Johnson late in fourth quarter
"We were trying to run the ball and obviously we were in a third down situation – longer yardage, I think it was five or six – a situation where running it is going to be tough in that situation and, hey, we had a play called and I was going to go to my guy. (Andre Johnson) ran a great route against a very good corner and we were able to get it in there and get a first down and use more of the clock."
FS GLOVER QUIN
On being 3-0
"It just means we won all the games the NFL let us play, that is how we look at it. We don't worry about team history and all that. The NFL let us play three games and we won all of them."
On the fourth quarter
"It's the NFL. You never count a team out. They make some plays to get back in it and then hey, it came down to the end. You can't get down by that many points and rally every week so they came up short."
OL WADE SMITH
On the hit on QB Matt Schaub
"It was a hard hit and it just shows the type of leader and type of player Matt Schaub is. He took a play off, mandatory, came back out there and led us to a 'W.'"
On being 3-0
"It feels good. This is a good team we came in and beat here today and our goal is to go 1-0 every week."
On the fourth quarter
"The offense didn't do what we wanted to do on the field, but our defense made plays. [QB] Peyton Manning is a hell of a quarterback, Hall of Famer. He made plays, but we made enough plays to win."
On QB Matt Schaub after the big hit
"It just shows his character, the type of leader he is, the type of guy that is reliable. He made a hell of a lot of plays today. He played a great game. He is a big reason why we won."
OL DUANE BROWN
On Sunday's game
"We knew this was going to be a big challenge for us coming in here, facing a great team, we knew it was going to be hard to leave with a 'W.' It was a total team effort. They made a great couple drives at the end to try to come back but we had the discipline to hold them off."
On QB Matt Schaub receiving the game ball
"I told [QB] Matt [Schaub] five times today, 'he's the man.' I've been telling people for a long time that he's an elite quarterback and we have to put him up there with the best in the league and he showed it today. He stood in the pocket, took some brutal shots and never blinked. He put up big numbers against a pretty good secondary."
On whether he said anything to MLB Joe Mays after hit on QB Matt Schaub
"He was actually coming up trying to apologize to us. We were pretty upset about it. I didn't see exactly what happened but you just have to keep coming."
TE OWEN DANIELS
On being 3-0
"It's a good start for the first quarter of the season. To go on the road the last couple weeks and get victories in different ways, I think it was good. We overcame some things today against a really good team.
"It's nice. We've been working hard so it's good to have that come out of the hard work we've put in. There is a long way to go, we have a lot more games to play. To have three wins in three games is a good way to start."
On QB Matt Schaub receiving the game ball
"It was very well deserved. He threw his 100th touchdown pass today and he was a warrior out there. He got hit pretty good. I didn't see the hit, I just saw the aftermath of it. He is one of the toughest guys I know."
On his touchdown reception
"It was a route we run all the time, an under route. I got myself open, [QB] Matt [Schaub] made a great throw and I got myself in the end zone. It was big for us at that time to come back and get a score. We had some guys make plays in that drive earlier and I was fortunate enough to get a score."
WR KEVIN WALTER
On getting two road wins in a row
"That's what we wanted to do. We wanted to go on the road and get a win. Last week we did, and obviously, this week we knew it was going to be a tough test also. We did a good job. We started off fast and I wish we would have finished a little stronger, but we got the win and that's all that counts."
On his touchdown catch
"We practice that many, many times. It's just a matter of going out there and executing it, a matter of getting the right coverage and we did. I tell you what, that throw that [QB] Matt [Schaub] made was unbelievable. It was easy, it was easy to run the route, but that ball was perfect."
On the play of QB Matt Schaub
"I've seen Matt play a lot of good games, this is right up there with it. He took some hits, was out one play and right back in. (He) threw four touchdowns, the guy is a true player."
WR ANDRE JOHNSON
On the 3-0 start for the Texans
"It feels good. I've been through the worst of the worst with the organization. We've climbed that mountain. We are still climbing trying to get over that hump, but we have a great team. We know we have a good team. The thing is just being consistent every weekend, going out and trying to get wins."
On his outlook on the rest of the season
"I think this is the best team we've had since I've been here on both sides of the ball. I think the sky is the limit for us. It's about us being consistent and everyone being healthy. We've got guys that can come in and also make plays when guys go down."
On his third-down catch in the fourth quarter
"We lined up in one formation and shifted to another. [CB] Champ [Bailey] was playing outside of me and I knew I had an out-breaking route. I started outside and pushed back up and broke out and [QB] Matt [Schaub] gave me a chance. I went to Matt earlier before we got the ball and said, 'I've been playing [terrible], just give me a chance, don't give up on me.' He came to me and said that I've been playing too much football to get down on myself. He gave me the opportunity and I was able to make a play."
On his 60-yard touchdown catch
"It was just a double move. They had the perfect coverage. There wasn't anybody on the other side of the field. We put the play in earlier this week and it worked out for us."
On the play of QB Matt Schaub
"He played great. You could tell he was really focused on what he was doing. He took a big hit and came right back in the next play. He's playing at a very high level and he's been doing it for a while."
DENVER BRONCOS HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
"Update on the injuries: [CB] Tracy Porter, knee. [WR Matthew] Willis, hamstring. [SLB] Nate Irving, concussion. [RB] Willis McGahee, rib. [TE] Jacob Tamme, groin. He did come back to the game."
On CB Tracy Porter's knee being the reason he left the game
"Yeah. He actually got it kicked on the first one and he tried to go with it [and] just couldn't go so it was next man up."
On being one third-down stop away from getting the ball back for the second week in a row
"It was the second week in a row we lost by six points. It's the second week in a row we started very slowly – different side of the ball this time."
On it being frustrating that the Broncos still had a chance to win
"It's just frustrating losing. I think you work too hard. You put too much into these games. Those players in that locker room, all the staff, coaches… We just have to put 60 minutes together and I don't know that we… The closest we got was in our opener (vs. Pittsburgh). Those are two good football teams. That was a very good football game today as witnessed by their record. You can't dig yourself that deep in the hole in the case of the last two games."
On if he is concerned about dropped passes
"Not really. Again, if you haven't dropped one, you haven't played. It's something we've got to clean up a little it. That other team practices and gets paid, too."
On QB Peyton Manning's comfort level
"I think we're developing that. That's something you're going to have to ask him. I thought there were some pretty good awareness plays today. Last week, his arm was no good. This week… I thought he played pretty well in all three games. He'll continue to play better as we go."
On the offense being out of sync
"Anytime you can put that number of points up, I think it's not that much out of sync. Are we a finished product? No. We're three games in to a 16 game schedule. I think we'll grow and get better as we go and time will tell."
On the last two runs being calls from QB Peyton Manning
"I don't want to get too much into how things operate, for obvious reasons. It was one of those two."
On the avoiding the no-huddle offense
"I think there was a lot of signs of no-huddle today. I'm not going to get in to that either, for obvious reasons. I think our biggest issue right now is the slow starts. Against two very good football teams, we've ended up a little bit short – six points worth."
On playing RB Ronnie Hillman over RB Knowshon Moreno
"He's a young guy we haven't seen yet. He was a little behind because he had some injury issues early in camp. He's kind of gotten up to speed mentally now and we wanted to look at him."
On how RB Ronnie Hillman looked
"I haven't looked at the tape yet. I don't think he had a whole lot of action. He probably had two carries for under ten yards. I'll just have to wait till we see the tape."
DENVER BRONCOS PLAYERS
QB PEYTON MANNING
On his comfort level
"Well, I think you try to learn something from each game. You know, it is hard to look past a loss, but you certainly study yourself during the week. And at least we get back to a little bit of a normal routine, from a week's standpoint—[we'll] be able to study this tape and study what it is we are doing wrong and study anything we are doing well and try to build off that. I think it is still probably a process. But it is hard to think about anything really besides losing two games in a row in a tough fashion."
On the slow starts the last two weeks
"Well, it is a 'we thing,' you know, not an individual thing. We are all in it together now—[we've] just got to find a way to get off to a better start, together as a team, and not kind of alternate one side of the ball doing a good job and other side of the ball not doing a good job. We need to kind of feed off each other, and we have done it at times, but we need to be able to do it for 60 minutes. Like I said: we will study the tape hard, and we will see a lot of things we could have done better. [I] certainly give credit to Houston—they are an excellent team—but we certainly have to do a better job of executing overall for 60 minutes."
On what went wrong in the first half
"Yeah, it is hard to pinpoint. We will get a good luck at the film and see what it is. [I] certainly give Houston credit, but [that's] not a team you want to get in to a lot of third-and-longs. I don't know how many we had, but we weren't very good early on third downs. [We were] probably a little bit better late there in the fourth quarter—got to be able to convert from third downs. A lot of time third-down conversions—if you can follow it—you can kind of convert it on actually first or second downs, if you do a better job staying at third-and-manageable. It seems like we had a few more third-and-longs today, and that is kind of playing into Houston's hands."
On the late-game firepower the last two weeks
"Yeah, certainly we are 1-2, and that is what you look at. Like I said: when you study the tape, one of the first things you study is what you are doing wrong. Why are we having to come back? We are not doing our jobs well enough as a team to get ourselves in a hole against two good football teams two weeks in a row. I certainly appreciate the guys competing, the guys fighting, and we've been knocking on the door there at the end. Like I said: it would be nice to get off to a better start. If you don't, though—sometimes it happens—you still can find a way to win. Hopefully with that kind of effort … we can win a game with that kind of effort sometime later on in the season."
On Denver's struggles today with third-down conversions
"Any time you have a number of three-and-outs, I don't think anybody gets into much of a rhythm. Seems like we had a little run there in the third quarter of some three-and-outs, and that's what Houston wants, and that's what any defense wants, to get the offense off the field. [We] probably didn't find enough of a rhythm early on, but that really comes down to being really good on first and second down, staying on the field and being able to convert third-and-manageable."
On Denver's struggles in the passing game early
"Any time we're throwing incomplete passes, that's a 'we thing.' [We've] gotta find a way to move the chains, keep our defense off the field, stay on the field and convert for touchdowns. Down there in the red zone, I thought we had a decent drive there early in the game (first quarter). It would have been nice to have gotten a touchdown there—had to settle for a field goal—coming off that safety, and then [we] got down there again and had to punt. So, [we] had a chance to score some points early. There certainly was some good fight in there at the end, but [we] gotta do a better job early."
On what sparked the Broncos' fourth-quarter rally
"[WR Brandon] Stokley's [first] touchdown definitely got us a little juice going. We hadn't scored a touchdown all game, having the field goals and the [safety], so that was a good play [and] good coverage by [the Houston defender]. Stokley went and made a good play on that ball and got us into a little bit of a rhythm there and got us another touchdown after that. I think that play kind of got things started for us in the fourth quarter."
On the play of Texans DE J.J. Watt
"I don't see the numbers of the defensive lineman as much—you know, you're looking down field—so I'm probably the wrong guy to ask as to how he played. I could probably tell you after [watching] the film."
On the Texans' defense
"I think they are a good defense. I thought they were good coming in. They certainly played well, and I think when we're not hitting on all cylinders against a good defense, that's not what you want. You need to be on your game, be a little sharper, when you're going against a good defense like that."
On the Broncos' frustration level
"I don't really have a gauge for it. We're 1-2, [and] we got a big [AFC West] division game coming in against Oakland. I know it's a great rivalry. I've never been a part of it, but divisions games count double, so we have to learn from this game, address it, be honest—everybody needs to be accountable—and try to improve for it. It's not the ideal situation. Everybody would love to be 3-0, but that's not the way it is right now. So, [we've] gotta keep fighting [and] find a way to correct some of these mistakes and find a way to play better and try to get a division win at home next week against a good team."
CB CHAMP BAILEY
On coming up short for the second straight game
"We've got to start faster. I felt like the first five minutes, we were good. Then all of a sudden, they throw two balls over our head. We can't live with that."
On how Houston was able to convert big plays
"I honestly don't know, exactly. It's one of those things as a corner you just don't want to do, is give up a deep play. They could throw 100 comebacks and curls, but don't give up the deep one. It's tough out there. It is what it is. We've got to learn from it and try to get better."
On a key catch by WR Andre Johnson that extended a late Houston drive
"I was right there. It's just two good players making plays. His quarterback put it right where I couldn't get it, so I've got to give him a lot of credit. Once I started following [Johnson] around, he didn't have a catch in crunch time. He made it happen. I've got to give him a lot of credit for that."
On what the past two games say about the Broncos
"At the end, we still lose. But one thing you don't want to see is guys fold and not finish until the end. We had a lot of guys [who] kept fighting. We just need to find a way not to get ourselves in that hole."
On whether Houston's offense made big plays
"Absolutely. [Texans Head Coach Gary] Kubiak's one of the best to ever do it, so you've got to give him a lot of credit for the scheme they ran, because there's a lot of open people running. It's all about that scheme."
On whether the Broncos can get back in the win column
"We're close. We are, but it's going to take more than that. We've got to be more consistent in practice and in these games in order win."
TE JOEL DREESEN
On the reason for the Broncos' slow starts offensively
"I don't know. We're just struggling to find a little bit of a rhythm right now. I thought we really were going to find, some confidence, especially when we got the safety and got the ball back and drove down there. We went up 5-0, but we've got to find ways to do better than that."
On the adjustments the offense made in the fourth quarter
"It's tough to say without looking at the film, but all I can do is control what I can control, and I've got to get better. I've got to get better and getting open. I've got to get better at blocking so we can start faster. Everyone in this locker room just has to be concerned with how they can find a way to get better personally."
On the Texans and the Broncos' other opponents
"They're a very good squad. Every week, we're going to play a good team. We've got to find a way to win."
On his postgame mind-set
"I hate losing. It doesn't matter to who. We've got to find a way to be better."
LB JOE MAYS
On Texans RB Arian Foster
"That guy works hard. He's relentless. It takes more than one guy to take him down. He's definitely a good back, explosive guy. He hits the hole fast, and he's definitely a guy that's going to be good in this league for a long time."
On whether he expects a fine for his hit on Houston QB Matt Schaub
"Oh yeah. I'm expecting that, but it was not my intention to do that. I'm just trying to play fast. It's football. We all come out here, we love it, we play fast. My intention was to hurry him, to get the ball out, or to get a sack. He kind of ducked his head toward the end, and it ended up being a helmet-to-helmet. I can't take it back, so I guess it's on to the next game."
On how he can adjust his tackling
"I don't know. I guess go in lower. You can't go for knees, because that's a penalty too. We have to be smarter. Starting with me, I have to play smarter. But overall, as a defense, we have to start fast and play better so we don't put ourselves in situations like we have the past two weeks."
WLB WESLEY WOODYARD
On if he thought he might score on his interception return
"I did. I joked the whole week with the guys like, 'Man, if I ever get the ball, I wasn't going to get touched.' I saw the end zone so it felt like it was 200 yards away."
On getting down early in the game
"We started off slow and can't do that, especially with a good team. They came out and ran the ball really well the first half. In order to be a really good team in the NFL and a team that is solid week in and week out, we have to start fast."
On the loss
"A loss is always frustrating, especially when we were right there in it at the end. We know we should have won that game so we have to continue to play fast, and come out against Oakland because they are going to be ready. They don't care how we start; they are going to be ready to play."
On giving up big plays
"We have to learn how to continue to do what our coaches have been coaching us to do and that is just to do your job. We have to do our job and have to believe in our teammates."
On taking away Houston's play-action pass in the second half
"Coming into the game, we knew that was their game plan; run the ball, play-action pass, and get us off our intensity and fire on the field. We knew they were going to do that and they did it in the first half."
On limiting big plays
"We gave up two huge plays in the first half that really just killed us and killed the momentum of our team. We have to start fast and be on top of that."
DT KEVIN VICKERSON
On the team's slow start
"There are no excuses. You just have to come out and be ready to play the whole 60 minutes."
On the team playing better in the fourth quarter
"Yeah, in the third quarter, fourth quarter we start getting some drives put together and start getting off the field on third down. That was one of our key goals to get off the field on third down. They schemed us good so it's back to the drawing board. We knew what they were going to do but at the same time, when you set up the run and run, run, run and then dink and play-action boot off of it, success will come to you. They got us."
On the play-action pass offense paralleling past Broncos teams
"[Gary] Kubiak – former Bronco. Stuff happens."
On the state of the team
"Right now we are 1-2. We are a better team than that. We want to show that we are capable of big expectations around here and that is what we want to do."
WR BRANDON STOKLEY
On Houston's defense
"They're a good defense as a whole. They make you play good football and we didn't do that early on."
On the slow start
"It is hard to say. You have to give them credit, they played good football. Like I said, we didn't play good football for three quarters and we finally got it going but when you dig yourself in a whole against a good football team, it is hard to get out of it."
On his advice to the younger WR's
"You just keep on plugging away, keep on working hard. It is the third week of the season and nothing is written in stone yet. We still have the rest of the season in front of us so learn from this, put it behind us, and get to work next week."
On the second half
"You feel like you have some momentum for the first time. The defense stepped up and we were able to get some things going but it was too late."
On the Broncos fourth-quarter charge
"It doesn't count. In the end, it is a loss. You play to win and we haven't done that in the last two weeks so it is disappointing."
SLB VON MILLER
On Houston RB Arian Foster
"Arian Foster is pretty good. He can make those cuts on a dime and he can stretch it out to the outside too. Not many backs in the league can do that, he is pretty good."
On if he thinks the teams will see each other in the playoffs
"You never know, especially with the type of league we play in. There are a lot of highs and there are a lot of lows so you never know."
On Houston's play-action offense
"I have only been in the league for a couple of games but they are amongst the best that I have went against."
On the slow start
"We just have to get back in the lab, check it out on film, and keep on moving. There are a lot of highs and a lot of lows in the NFL so just keep on trucking."
On giving up a touchdown to Houston TE Owen Daniels
"He just beat me on an inside move. I laid off of him – was expecting him to go outside but he went inside and beat me across the middle. I will just get back in the lab, keep on working hard and I will get better."
On his assessment of the defense
"We have to get back in the lab and check it out on film. Right now it is all blurry but tomorrow we will have a good idea about it.
On DE Elvis Dumervil
"Oh yeah it is great to see him get a big-time sack on the first play of the game. We said all along thqat sacks come in bunches so hopefully he is on track and will keep making plays for us."
DE DEREK WOLFE
On Houston's offense
"You try to practice and prepare for it as much as you can but you can't practice cutting and you can't practice the back-cutting on you like that. It was definitely something new for us but I thought we handled it well at times. It was just some misfits here and there – it was stretch, stretch, boot. We got out-schemed I think."
On the improvement in the second half
"Well we knew what we were going to get and you get a feel for where the back wants to cut. It felt better in the second half."
On the slow start
"I don't have an answer for it. I just think they caught us on our heels a little bit. We came out with a safety so we sort of started fast but they schemed us well. They did a really good job. There were a couple misfits here and there but we will go back and look at the film and fix it."
On the cohesiveness of Houston
"They work really well together. Their offensive line was all in sync, there wasn't a lot of confusion and the crowd noise didn't seem to bother them. They jumped offsides a few times early but other than that, they seemed pretty well together."
On being a few plays away from a victory
"Yeah, it is frustrating. One more play, that is how football is. It is decided by one to three plays, every game is. I could probably pick out ten plays that if they would have just gone our way we would have been up by a lot more plays."
WR ERIC DECKER
On the offense trying to find a rhythm
"We are just trying to do what is best for us and if we think it's no-huddle, that is what we are going with. Number 18 [Peyton Manning] is the leader and what he wants to do, we are going to do and it is a matter of execution. It doesn't matter if we go no-huddle or huddle, you have to execute every play. That is something we didn't do as a whole."
On what the difference was in the fourth quarter
"We finished. Coach [John] Fox through OTA's, mini camp, training camp, our motto is to finish. It is a 60-minute battle and unfortunately we didn't start the battle fast enough. You can end quick, but that doesn't mean you're going to win because you play catch up."
On Houston's defense
"That is a team that is going to win a lot of ball games. They are a playoff contender. We played a great team, and you have to give them credit, too, because they made the plays and stopped us. If you want to be successful and have a run for the championship, you have to beat teams like this. We have to get better."
On if the offensive troubles are because a lack of shared playing time
"We are also professionals and this is our job. We have to execute what is called and take care of our jobs. We will figure it out."
On the offense's fourth-quarter surge
"I don't have an answer for that. At that point, we are executing and making plays that we need to make. That is something we need to do for the start."