|Texans win, but know they must improve after ugly win|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 08 October 2007 12:12|
Kris Brown's kicking was flawless on Sunday, but players on offense and defense alike know they have to improve if they hope to maintain a winning mark.
Houston (3-2) needed a last-second, 57-yard field goal by Brown to beat the winless Dolphins, who played most of the game with a backup quarterback.
Despite the lackluster showing, Texans coach Gary Kubiak was impressed by the tenacity his team showed in breaking a two-game losing streak with the 22-19 win.
``I think it's the most important football game we've ever won around here,'' Kubiak said. ``Let's face it, we needed to win a game. With these guys you sit here and talk about perseverance, keep going and somebody has to step in. But you have to have some W's to show for it.''
After Trent Green left with a concussion, the Texans allowed backup Cleo Lemon to engineer three straight scoring drives to give Miami a 16-7 lead with about three minutes left in the half. C.C. Brown intercepted Lemon early in the third quarter and the unit got a key stop on the next possession to help close the gap.
``On the defensive side of the ball, we haven't played well the last two weeks,'' cornerback Dunta Robinson said. ``We know on offense we've got a lot of guys that are down, so we've got to kind of take over the game on defense.''
While the defense looks to improve, the bigger problems for Houston are on offense, where the running game has stalled since Ahman Green has been out. In the two games Green played, the Texans averaged 114 yards rushing. Since he's been injured, they've managed an average of 67.
Ron Dayne and Samkon Gado combined on 24 carries for 59 yards on Sunday against a team that was allowing an NFL-worst 199 yards rushing a game.
``The bottom line is that we're not running the ball well,'' Kubiak said. ``We have got to get better at running the ball. We're going to continue to do that. We had ourselves in a tough position because we did not run the ball well.''
It's unclear when Green, who has a bruised left knee, will return. If he's not healthy by next week the Texans could be in for a long day against the Jaguars, who held Kansas City to 10 yards rushing on Sunday.
Gado is confident they can bounce back from their struggles.
``I think eventually we'll turn around,'' Gado said. ``We're still grinding away. Everybody is ... doing their assignments and working extra hard. It's going to happen sooner or later.''
Matt Schaub completed 20-of-34 passes for 294 yards but fumbled once and threw an interception. He's managed to keep the offense afloat despite missing receivers Andre Johnson, Jacoby Jones and Jerome Mathis.
``We've got to try to establish the run because we can't let him drop back 35-40 times a week,'' Kubiak said. ``It's just not going to be good for him in the long haul.''
Johnson has missed the last three games with a knee sprain but is improving and ran for the first time on Friday. Jones, who has a separated shoulder, practiced on a limited basis last week and Kubiak said he has an ``excellent chance'' to return this week.
Bad news came for the Texans this weekend when they learned Mathis, who also returns kicks, has a stress fracture in his leg and will miss the remainder of the season.
``We know we're going to get some guys back,'' Kubiak said. ``When we're going to get them back, that's the question. Until we get them back we have to find a way to win.''
Notes: Kubiak said he spoke with officials in the league office Monday about Green's block of Travis Johnson that knocked the quarterback unconscious. Johnson was flagged for taunting Green after the incident and complained after the game that the block was low. ``The league told me the block is a legal block,'' Kubiak said. ``His head's in position.'' He called it ``a very, very unfortunate situation'' and said he thinks the league should review those type of blocks to see if the rule should be changed in the future. Travis Johnson has a bruised knee from the hit and will have an MRI. ... Safety Will Demps dislocated his elbow on Sunday but was able to return to the game and should be OK.