Texans look to lean on strong defensive play to keep win streak alive against Broncos

By Adam Wexler - Sports Anchor/Reporter
2018 Getty Images

J.J. Watt tackles Frank Gore for a loss in the first quarter at NRG Stadium on October 25, 2018 in Houston, Texas.

HOUSTON - If the Houston Texans are going to extend their winning streak to six games, their defense will likely need to continue their strong run of games.

They’ve allowed just five touchdowns in the last four games and only one touchdown in the first half of those games, allowing the team to play with a lead, for the most part.

When that happens, that usually allows the pass rush to ramp things up even more.

Facing the Denver Broncos and former Texans quarterback Case Keenum will be a challenge, since he does such a good job extending plays and looking downfield.

“Case is doing a great job of extending plays. He’s always had a knack for doing that,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “He’s got a great instinct for when to escape, and that’s the thing about this league right now, those guys that are able to do that. Obviously, we have a guy here that can do that. That’s hard on the defense, and so you’ve got to do the best you can of trying to play good, responsible football and everybody being disciplined.”

“We’ve got to rush at the level of the quarterback, press the pocket, just try to not run by him,” Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said.

Keenum, who is in his first year with the Broncos, leads the NFL in turnovers with 11, 10 of which were interceptions. He’s only lost one fumble, but he’s put it on the ground six times, second-most in the league.

Clowney and J.J. Watt combine to form one of the most disruptive duos in the league.

Clowney has 4.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss (sixth in NFL) and 11 quarterback hits (14th in the NFL), while Watt has eight sacks (second in NFL), 10 tackles for loss (third in NFL) and 13 quarterback hits (eighth in the NFL).

Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel joked when asked about what more he hoped to get from Clowney and Watt.

“Get some interceptions or catch some balls and run them in for touchdowns,” Crennel said. “Everything else is going pretty good.”

Clowney remembers Keenum as a leader when the two were teammates in Houston in 2014.

“I think Case is a good guy. He was a leader when he was here,” Clowney said. “Great player, very smart, knows defenses very well. Disguises are going to be very, very big. So, we just have to get ready to play this week. It’ll be a great matchup.”

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