The Texans defense had a monumental task of shutting down a red-hot Matthew Stafford on Sunday and succeeded. In the 20-13 win, Houston allowed just three points before halftime, tying Detroit's lowest first-half output in a game this season.
"It was a team defense," head coach Bill O'Brien said after the game. "I thought that the combination of the rush and coverage, I thought those guys did an excellent job. I mean we were able to stay for the most part in good leverage and stay tight to our men whether it was zone or man and that allowed the rush to get some pressure on him. I'm not sure how many times he was sacked, but there was a lot of pressure. I think that when you play together like that, that really helps a lot."
Stafford was 27-of-41 for 240 yards, one touchdown and an 89.5 passer rating. Jadeveon Clowney had the lone sack for a loss of nine yards, and also added a quarterback hit and tackle for loss. Outside linebacker John Simon led the team with eight tackles, six solo, and a quarterback hit. The Texans defense limited the Lions to just 3-of-11 (27%) on third-down conversions, including 1-of-6 (17%) in the first half.
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel emphasized stopping the run in the week's preparation, after allowing 190 yards rushing by Denver on Monday night. The Texans succeeded, containing Theo Riddick to 56 yards rushing on 11 carries.
"I think we did a great job," Jadeveon Clowney said. "We came out here and did what we wanted to do. Control the run game, stop the run, and make them one-dimensional."
In the fourth quarter, the Texans kept Stafford on the bench. Houston controlled the clock, with time of possession at 11:12 compared to Detroit's 3:48. Stafford, who has orchestrated a number of fourth-quarter comebacks this year, was limited to just three opportunities in the final quarter against Houston.
"Obviously, I wish I could have done it earlier in the game," Stafford said. "I've got to play better. We've got to play better as a team, as an offense earlier in the game, so we're not in that situation. But you've got to give credit to them. They were able to run the ball to get the clock – run the game out."
The Texans improved to 5-3 with the victory, including 5-0 at home with an upcoming bye in Week 9.
Check out photos of the game as the Texans took on the Lions at NRG Stadium.