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06.09.2019, 08:52

HOUSTON (AP) —igh four turnovers Braxton Miller Color Rush Jersey , the Houston Texans extended their winning streak to nine games with a win over the Browns.But as good as the unit has been, the Texans believe they can get much better down the stretch with the first test coming on Sunday against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.“We can tackle better,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “I think we can communicate better. I think there’s a lot of things that we can improve on in all three phases, but I think they’re playing hard. They’re playing with really good effort.”That effort was highlighted on Sunday when rookie safety Justin Reid chased down Antonio Callaway after a long catch and forced a fumble just before he crossed the goal line to prevent a touchdown.It was just the latest big play for the third-round pick, who helped Houston to a 23-21 victory over Washington on Nov. 18 by returning an interception 101 yards for a touchdown.“He’s really improved every week,” O’Brien said. “He really works hard to improve. He’s a very smart guy, works very hard in practice Senio Kelemete Color Rush Jersey , instinctive player, good speed, good size. He’s come a long way. He really understands the importance of practice and he tries to get better every day.”Reid’s emergence illustrates the fact that Houston’s defense has succeeded this year because it has received important contributions from several players. While the return of three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and the solid play of 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has led the unit, the Texans have also seen plenty of other players step up to make big plays as they’ve piled up win after win.On Sunday, Andre Hal had one of three interceptions of Baker Mayfield. It was the first interception of the year for Hal, who missed the first six games of the season recovering from cancer after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in May.Zach Cunningham made another big play for the defense when the second-year player grabbed his first career interception and returned it for a touchdown against the Browns.“You’re always looking to try to figure out, as you get ready for the next team Ibraheim Campbell Color Rush Jersey , what does this individual player need to improve on,” O’Brien said. “What does this unit need to improve on? What does the team need to improve on? What do I need to improve on? I think that’s been a big theme for us and our players are doing a good job of taking that to heart.”The Texans are also careful not to get too caught up in the streak. They know that if they don’t focus on their next opponent that things could go wrong quickly.“I don’t even think about it anymore,” 13-year veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph said of the winning streak. “It’s almost boring to talk about because … it doesn’t really mean anything. We have to go out and play the next game whether we’re on a win streak or we lost the week before. So, it’s all good for everything other than the people in this locker room because if we buy into it too much that’s when we get smacked in the face.”Houston is allowing the third-fewest points in the NFL (19.6), ranks 10th in yards allowed (341.5) and its rush defense ranks fifth by allowing just 91.3 yards rushing a game.This week the group will face a team that is averaging more than 27 points and 377 yards a game. Indianapolis scored 34 points in an overtime loss to Houston in Week 4 where Luck threw for a season-high 464 yards with four touchdowns.“He can make every throw,” defensive back Kareem Jackson said. “He can definitely buy time for guys to get open so … with him you know a play is never over. So we’ve definitely got to be (solid) in coverage and play to the whistle.” This week’s Conference Championships:Big 12 - Texas vs. Oklahoma - 11 CDTFor the first time in history, Texas and Oklahoma meet twice at a neutral site in the same season. A win for Oklahoma would likely mean a Top 4 spot Seantrel Henderson Color Rush Jersey , and nobody would love to spoil that more than their fiercest rival in the Texas Longhorns.SEC - Georgia vs. Alabama - 3 CDTCan Georgia get revenge in last year’s title game rematch? Not only would they be able to reclaim bragging rights with a win, but a spot in the Top 4 as well.AAC - Memphis vs. UCF - 3:30 CDTUndefeated UCF looks to make it 25 consecutive wins with redshirt freshman Darriel Mack starting for an injured McKenzie Milton. It’s a rematch of last year’s championship where UCF won in overtime. Memphis has been the team to give UCF the most trouble during their win streak, losing closely in their last two meetings.Mountain West - Fresno State vs. Boise State - 6:45 CDTIf UCF were to slip up against Memphis, the winner of this game will head to a New Year’s Six game. Very high stakes between two teams that have flown under the national radar this season.ACC - Pittsburgh vs. Clemson - 7 CDTClemson looks to go into bowl season with an undefeated record. The only thing standing in between them and a national semifinal is a Pittsburgh team that gave Notre Dame major fits earlier this season.Big Ten - Northwestern vs. Ohio State - 7 CDTOhio State has an outside shot at a playoff spot, but all playoff hopes would come crashing down with a loss to Northwestern at the Big Ten title game. Can Northwestern play spoiler and pull off the upset?
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