Everything that went right for the Texans on defense against Dallas seemed to go wrong at Pittsburgh.
"Last night was a great example of how a game can get away from you if you aren't executing and performing mentally, physically and emotionally," head coach Dom Capers said Sunday.
Perhaps lost in the score was the fact the Texans tweaked their lineup at linebacker. Capers said linebacker Kailee Wong had a good game against the Steelers Saturday night – his first action at inside linebacker since he entered the league with the Minnesota Vikings in 1998.
Wong came inside from his position at right outside linebacker last Monday and practiced with both inside linebacker Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman during the week. Wong said he would do better given more time.
"It was definitely strange," Wong said. "I wasn't happy with the way I played. I was a lot more tentative than I would have liked. I was seeing the plays from a new perspective and I'm excited to get better every week."
Capers said there are no plans to keep Wong on the inside after Saturday's 38-3 loss at Pittsburgh. The Texans put a league-high 17 players on Injured Reserve last season and Capers said he wants to be prepared for any type of injury.
Wong finished the game with five tackles.
"I thought Kailee did fine," Capers said. "He had a week's worth of work in there. Looking back there is no question in my mind that it was the right thing to do. The more flexibility we can have the better it's going to be for us.
"I would say that we could work him in there from time to time just to keep him up to date on things. I think we have to keep in my mind if we get into the season and we have an injury, will we be better football team by moving him inside or keeping him outside?"
Outside linebacker Antwan Peek played outside with the first team defense with Wong's move inside. He, like the rest of the defense, struggled at times. Peek had four tackles. The defense recorded no sacks.
The Steelers faced 13 third downs of third-and-six or less. On more than one occasion, the quarterback scrambled for a first down or a running back bounced outside. Capers said the defense has to work on containment.
Peek started four games as a rookie last season, finishing with 28 tackles and a sack. He is one of several Texans linebackers who played defensive end in college. He is now adding coverage ability to his skill set.
"He saw some schemes that we really haven't worked on because we hadn't game planned," Capers said. "It's one thing to walk through them…That's why you have to have three days practice to see all those things on the practice field and walk through them and go out and practice against them full speed."
The Texans defense now turns its attention to the Denver Broncos. Capers said the team will plan for three days specifically for the Broncos, who host Houston Friday night.
"It is what it was," Capers said of the Steelers game. "Now we have to go back and work and make sure we get the corrections made. In preseason things can get away from you in a hurry. Hey, it's a football game. Our plans were to go out and play well and we didn't play well. It's that simple, we don't make any excuses."