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Three keys for Texans defense

Three Keys for Texans Defense
The Texans defense is coming off one of its best performances this season in the 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel wants to continue build off that momentum and improve in other areas. 
Here's what the Texans defense hopes to do better in the second half of the 2016 season.
1. Stop the run
The Texans defense has been able to stop the run, at times. At other times, it's been their biggest weakness. In Week 8, the Lions rushed for just 58 yards. The week before, the Broncos rushed for 190 yards. After the loss at Denver, Crennel took ownership of the run defense and said the team could do better. They did and it will continue to be a point of emphasis. 
"Being 5-3 is good at this point but we feel like our running game, we need to improve that," Crennel said Tuesday. "We're inconsistent on that. We have one good game, one bad game so we have to develop more consistency and so the guys up front and along the line, they have to do a more consistent job so we're going to work on that."
2. Improve tackling.
Linebacker Benardrick McKinney ranks fourth in the NFL in tackles, and currently leads the team with 38 through eight games. However, tackling gets harder and harder to practice as the season progresses with the league's limits on fewer padded, full-contact practices. Open-field tackling is hard to replicate and an area the Texans have wanted to improve.  
"We are able to rush the passer and put pressure on quarterbacks and so we feel good about where we are there and we're are not giving up big pass plays, and so we feel good about that," Crennel said. "Sometimes our tackling has been inconsistent so we have to continue to work on that and improve that."
3. Adjust to life without J.J. Watt
The Texans don't have a choice but to adjust without the three-time Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. After five games without Watt, it's already begun. Now officially listed as a defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney ranks second in the NFL with nine tackles for loss this year in his third season and has added three sacks.
"It's always tough to replace that kind of production," Crennel said. "You have to depend on everybody to step up their game and try to make plays. We've got guys, Whitney Mercilus, B-Mac (Benardrick McKinney), they've been stepping up, and some of the young linemen have been beginning to learn more and come on and do more. So, that's been encouraging that we've been able to hang in there without J.J."
Following the bye, the Texans will head to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars on Sunday, Nov. 13. Kickoff is set for noon CT. 

The Texans defense is coming off one of its best performances this season following Sunday's 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions.Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel wants to continue build off that momentum and improve in other areas. 
 
Here's what the Texans defense hopes to do better in the second half of the 2016 season.
 
*

  1. Stop the run*
    The Texans defense has been able to stop the run, at times. At other times, it's been their biggest weakness. In Week 8, the Lions rushed for just 58 yards. The week before, the Broncos rushed for 190 yards. After the loss at Denver, Crennel took ownership of the run defense and said the team could do better. They did and it will continue to be a point of emphasis. 

    "Being 5-3 is good at this point but we feel like our running game, we need to improve that," Crennel said Tuesday. "We're inconsistent on that. We have one good game, one bad game so we have to develop more consistency and so the guys up front and along the line, they have to do a more consistent job so we're going to work on that."

2. Improve tackling
Linebacker Benardrick McKinney ranks fourth in the NFL in tackles, and currently leads the team with 38 through eight games. However, tackling gets harder and harder to practice as the season progresses with the league's limits on fewer padded, full-contact practices. Open-field tackling is hard to replicate and an area the Texans have wanted to improve.  

"We are able to rush the passer and put pressure on quarterbacks and so we feel good about where we are there and we're are not giving up big pass plays, and so we feel good about that," Crennel said. "Sometimes our tackling has been inconsistent so we have to continue to work on that and improve that."

3. Adjust to life without J.J. Watt

The Texans don't have a choice but to adjust without the three-time Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. After five games without Watt, it's already begun. Now officially listed as a defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney ranks second in the NFL with nine tackles for loss this year in his third season and has added three sacks.

"It's always tough to replace that kind of production," Crennel said. "You have to depend on everybody to step up their game and try to make plays. We've got guys, Whitney Mercilus, B-Mac (Benardrick McKinney), they've been stepping up, and some of the young linemen have been beginning to learn more and come on and do more. So, that's been encouraging that we've been able to hang in there without J.J."

Following the bye, the Texans will head to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars on Sunday, Nov. 13. Kickoff is set for noon CT. 

Check out your Houston Texans as they arrive to NRG Stadium to face off against the Lions.

 
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