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Texans-Browns postgame notebook


The Texans' defense flexed its muscle in a 16-6 win at Cleveland, coming up with a season-high five turnovers and limiting the Browns to two field goals. Three different Texans recorded interceptions and defensive end Mario Williams threw down running back Jamal Lewis like he was a ragdoll.

Super Mario ragdolls Lewis: Defensive end Mario Williams had the statement play of the game when he threw down Browns running back Jamal Lewis like a ragdoll for a three-yard loss early in the third quarter.

"Jamal Lewis, he's all business," guard Chester Pitts said. "He's a big, strong man, and to see Mario come in there and wrap him up and throw him to the ground, I'm like, 'Wow, whoa.' I said, 'Alright, big weight room guy.'"

Though Williams had been getting pressure on quarterback Brady Quinn in the first two quarters, Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas had prevented Williams from wreaking havoc in the backfield. That all changed in the second half.

"Coming out of the locker room at halftime, I told (defensive line coach) Jethro (Franklin) that they were doing a lot of stuff to slow you down, to try to get you to read and go," Williams said. "I said, 'I'm just going to go in there and read.' And that's exactly what happened on the first play."

Super Mario's play set the tone for the defense in the second half. Defensive end Anthony Weaver recorded an interception on the following snap to set up Kris Brown's 36-yard field goal. Then, cornerback Fred Bennett picked off Quinn on Cleveland's next drive.

"That was the big difference in our team today," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "We had emotions (that) were flying high, and as a defense, our intensity level was high, the way it should be every game."

To read more about the Texans' defensive performance, click **here**.

'Dre and Walter bolster offense: The Texans' offense was on fire in the first half, racking up 259 yards. Leading the way were wide receivers Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter.

{QUOTE}Walter scored on the opening drive, catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sage Rosenfels. It was Walter's seventh touchdown of the season, which makes second in the AFC in receiving touchdowns. He finished the game with seven catches for 93 receiving yards.

Johnson had 10 catches for 116 yards, making huge gains with yards after the catch.

"We were just able to find spots in their defense," Johnson said. "We came in at halftime and they were doing some things we didn't expect them to do, and we talked about it. We were able to go out and make some adjustments."

His 100-yard games this season are the most by any player in the NFL. Johnson also surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season with a 22-yard catch in the second quarter and now has 1,071 yards on 81 catches this season.

"You know, everyone wants to go over 1,000 yards and get all the yards and all the catches, but I just want to win," Johnson said. "If me getting 1,000 yards helped my team win, then so be it. If me getting 500 yards helps them win, I'll take the 500. I think it's a great accomplishment, and I'm just out there having fun."

Rosenfels was 24-of-32 for 275 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions.

"We threw the ball effectively," Rosenfels said. "We ran the ball pretty good. We got a lot of third-and-shorts that we made with running the ball. I made two mistakes. I wish I could have them back, but thankfully, our defense bailed us out."

Green injures knee: Running back Ahman Green left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return because of a left knee injury. The 11th-year pro is expected to miss the next two weeks and will undergo an MRI on Monday.

"It was just my knee went one way, my foot went the other way," Green said. "And I got up, I didn't feel any pain. I just felt a lot of looseness. It wasn't anything to where I was in a lot of pain, like I said. It was just a weird feeling."

Green's loss would create a void in the Texans' offense. The Pro Bowler scored two touchdowns last week against Indy and has been particularly effective in short-yardage situations and in pass protection.

"You start playing teams that are 3-4 teams like this or Pittsburgh or Baltimore, he's got so much experience with protections," Rosenfels said. "He did a great job with that and helping the offensive line or picking up big linebackers or defensive ends in a 3-4 defense.

"And he's great in short yardage. He's done a great job for us getting key first downs on third-and-ones and third-and-twos."

It doesn't help matters that rookie Steve Slaton has been dealing with sore ribs since Week 11. Coach Gary Kubiak had wanted to increase Green's reps against the Browns to rest Slaton, but Slaton carried the bulk of the load and finished with 21 carries for 73 yards. Green had 13 attempts for 39 yards.

"Going into the game, we thought it would be more of an Ahman day," Kubiak said. "Steve was beat up coming out of the game against Indy. Unfortunately, Ahman's down and it looks like it could be a few weeks, just talking to (head trainer) Kevin (Bastin).

"So, we have a problem. We have a beat-up young back (Slaton) that really wasn't 100 percent, a young kid (Ryan Moats) that hasn't touched the ball much that we didn't want to put in that situation. But Steve hung in there and finished the game."

Davis returns: Wide receiver André Davis returned to the lineup for the first time since undergoing finger surgery in October to play against his former team. Davis returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, but it was called back because of a holding penalty. He finished with two returns for 43 yards and one catch for 10 yards.

"To get André Davis back on the field today (even though he) got a kickoff return called back, it was important to this team," Kubiak said.

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