About the Author
Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
The Texans won 3-of-4 games without suspended SLB Brian Cushing but surrendered a bushel of yards and only occasionally looked like the defense that showed such improvement a season ago. "I don't look at myself as a 'savior' or anything, but I definitely think I can add a lot," Cushing said of his role on the defense, according to the club. Cushing's return allows the Texans to move productive Zac Diles to the weak side and gives Houston its best three-LB lineup. Cushing was a physical, playmaking, turnover-forcing presence as a rookie, and his influence in each of these specific areas will aid the defense, the way we hear it. It's worth noting that the Texans' "D" started slow last season before picking up its play, and Cushing's absence because of a violation of the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances coincided with a challenging opening quarter of the season that included games vs. Indianapolis and Dallas as well as games at Washington and Oakland, who have improved offenses. And the challenges continue for Houston: after facing the balanced Giants offense in Week Five, the Texans draw the Chiefs, who have a strong running game. Then, after their Week Seven bye, the Texans face the Colts and Chargers in succession.