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Texans postgame comments on T.J. Yates

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 5, 2011 – 3:02 pm

Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates completed 12 of 25 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in his first-career start, helping the Texans beat the Atlanta Falcons 17-10 at Reliant Stadium. The fifth-round pick out of North Carolina made big plays when he needed to, didn’t make any critical mistakes and avoided several pressures with nimble feet in the pocket.

Here’s what his coach, his teammates and his owner – and Yates himself – had to say about him after the game:

Head coach Gary Kubiak: “He’s our quarterback for the rest of the year. I think it’s important that we go ahead and move forward and leave our expectations the same. I don’t want to cuff him; I want him to go play. I just want to see him get better every week… My approach with him is going to stay aggressive because we need him to grow up real fast. That’s what we’re going to have to expect him to do. I’m happy; I’m proud of him. He did a hell of a job. He handled the football team very well.”

WR Andre Johnson: “I thought he would do well, even though he only played a half last week. Just how calm he was, like, he didn’t show any panic. He was just calm. He felt very confident in what he was doing, and as he went through the week of practice, it was the same thing. So, guys were definitely confident in him that he was going to go out and get the job done.”

WR Kevin Walter: “I tell you what, man. I’m very impressed. I was impressed with him in practice, how he prepared this week. I’m impressed how he acted in the game, how he was so poised and made plays. It was unbelievable. I take my hat off to him.”

TE Owen Daniels: “T.J. is great. He’s so cool in the huddle, so confident in the huddle, even after he’s taken hits. He took a pretty good shot, bounced up and shook it off. It’s been pretty impressive to watch him after coming in for the two-minute drill last week and then this week at practice. I know he was getting coached up hard, but you’ve got to go out there and do the job. He handled it really well.”

RB Arian Foster: “He may be a third-stringer coming to starter, but he’s an NFL quarterback. He can make throws… We have weapons around him to help him, but I keep saying ‘help him’ like he’s handicapped. He’s a good quarterback. It’s fun to watch him grow, and I think we’re all going to see that… He’s not third-string. He’s first-string now. He’s a starter in this league and deserves that respect.”

RT Eric Winston: “Gary (Kubiak) said, ‘We’re not changing. I’m giving T.J. the same load that I would give Matt Schaub. I gave him this many passes, I gave this many runs, and he’s got to do it.’ That said all you needed to know about the confidence that he had in him.”

LT Duane Brown: “He has a great demeanor. He takes charge of the huddle and gets us going. You’ve got to love a young guy like that stepping in and having that kind of confidence.”

ILB Brian Cushing: “Couldn’t be more impressed, to be honest with you. As a rookie, in a huge home game against a defense like that, just the way he held up under pressure, the throws he made, the hits he took and just kept getting up and continue executing really says a great deal for him. I think just the vibe around the locker room is just complete, not awe, but everyone’s very impressed with how he did and just very proud of him.”

CB Kareem Jackson: “He played a hell of a game. He came out and had all the confidence in the world. He made some big-time throws in practice and he came out here and did the same thing. He came out and proved that he was a player.”

ILB DeMeco Ryans: “He was ready to go. He was ready to go all week. He had a great week of practice. I was very excited coming to the game, excited for him, because I knew he was going to play well… He was moving around in the pocket. He’s a very athletic guy. He was making some big-time throws. It was great to watch. I definitely turned into a fan watching from the sidelines, rooting him on… He’s just a quiet, confident guy. He walks around here, has that swagger that your quarterback is supposed to have. He’s just a natural leader.”

Texans owner Bob McNair: “He did a great job. He’s got a lot of poise and handled everything so well and just did an amazing job.”

QB T.J. Yates: “I thought I played alright. There’s definitely some things, some mistakes, I can delete to get our team in better situations. You know, the interception (nullified by a holding penalty on Atlanta) was totally on me. I went to the check down without looking first and threw it right to the guy. Making plays like that is definitely going to hurt our team, and that’s something I have to get better at.”

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HT.com Week 13 link roundup

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 5, 2011 – 11:39 am

Links to our coverage from the Texans’ 17-10 Week 13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Reliant Stadium on Sunday:

Texans win sixth straight with 17-10 thriller over Falcons
Johnson sidelined by another hamstring injury

Postgame notes: Yates and crowd noise
Foster carries the mail
Postgame quotes: Texans vs. Falcons

Texans vs. Falcons pregame live chat
Gameday feature: Andre’s back

Highlights: Texans beat Falcons
Texans postgame press conference
Sonic Game Recap: Fans help Texans over Falcons
Foster’s 1-yard TD run
Yates’ 3-yard TD pass
Johnson’s 50-yard grab
Allen picks off QB Ryan
Jackson picks off Ryan
Puntos Extra: Texans Ganaron Contra Atlanta

Game photos
Pregame photos

National links
Yates ready to put arm to good use for Texans (Mike Silver, Yahoo! Sports)
Texans keep the good times rolling with No. 3 QB (Jeff Darlington, NFL.com)
Star-tossed Texans keep on truckin’ with No. 3 QB (Clark Judge, CBS Sports)
Rookie QB keeps Texans on track (Jarrett Bell, USA Today)
Yates, long drive keep Texans streaking (Paul Kuharsky, ESPN.com)

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Texans 17, Falcons 10: Postgame notes

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 4, 2011 – 6:27 pm

Courtesy of the Texans’ communications staff, here are postgame notes from the Texans’ 17-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13 at Reliant Stadium:


·         Extended the Texans’ winning streak to six games, setting a franchise record for consecutive wins in a season. Houston previously won six games over two seasons in 2009-10, winning the last four games of the 2009 season and opening 2010 with consecutive victories.

·         Matched the franchise single-season wins record, equaling the total from 2009 when the Texans finished 9-7.

·         Improved Houston’s record at Reliant Stadium to 5-1 on the season.

·         Gave the Texans a 2-1 record against the NFC South on the year.

·         Improved Houston’s record against Atlanta to 2-1 all-time and 2-0 at home.


·         Evened his career record at 46-46 with the Texans.

·         Improved his record at Reliant Stadium to 29-17.

·         Unsuccessfully challenged a call in the first quarter of a fumble by QB T.J. Yates. The unsuccessful challenge dropped Kubiak’s record to 2-4 this season and 12-26 in his career.


·         Won the time of possession battle for the 10th time this season, holding the ball for 35:04, and improved to 8-2 in those games.

·         Outrushed their opponent for the eighth time this season, outgaining Atlanta 162-70 on the ground, and improved to 7-1 in those games.

·         Posted a positive turnover margin for the eighth time this season, recording two takeaways and giving the ball away once. Houston improved to 6-2 in those games.

·         Held the Falcons to 10 points, marking the ninth game this season and the sixth consecutive game in which Houston has held its opponent under 20 points. Houston is 9-0 in those games.

·         Intercepted a pass for the 11th consecutive game.

·         Registered a season-high 13 passes defensed, topping the previous high of nine vs. Jacksonville (10/30).

·         Scored first for the 10th time this season and improved to 8-2 in those games.

·         Led after the first quarter and at halftime for the 10th time this season. Houston is 8-2 in both instances this season.

·         Were tied after three quarters for the first time this season. Houston has led going into the fourth quarter 10 times and trailed once.

·         19-play touchdown drive tied the franchise record, matching the 19-play touchdown drive earlier this year vs. Pittsburgh (10/2).

·         The 19-play drive used 10:41 of clock time, making it the second-longest drive in team history in terms of time. The longest consumed 10:55, a 19-play, 95-yard touchdown drive earlier this year vs. Pittsburgh (10/2).

·         Total paid attendance for today’s game was 71,545, marking the 98th consecutive home sellout for the Texans. Houston has sold out every home game, including preseason and regular-season games, in franchise history.

·         Team captains were WR Andre Johnson and C Chris Myers on offense, ILB Brian Cushing, ILB DeMeco Ryans and DE Antonio Smith on defense and K Neil Rackers representing the special teams.

·         The Falcons won the toss and elected to receive.


·         Intercepted his fourth pass of the season and the 15th of his career when he picked off Atlanta QB Matt Ryan in the first quarter. He returned the interception 34 yards, which was the longest return of his career.


·         Tied for the team lead with six tackles, including five solo stops. It marked the ninth time in 12 games that Cushing either led the team or tied for the team lead in tackles.


·         Caught a pass in his 65th consecutive game when he hauled in a 17-yard throw in the first quarter.

·         Surpassed 3,500 career receiving yards on his second catch of the game, an 8-yard gain in the first quarter. Daniels entered the game with 3,481 career yards.


·         Caught his career-high fifth touchdown pass of the season when he hauled in a 3-yard throw from QB T.J. Yates in the second quarter. The touchdown was the 12th of his career.


·         Surpassed 100 rushing yards for the fifth time this season and the 14th time in his career. He reached the mark on a 7-yard run in the fourth quarter. Foster finished the game with 111 rushing yards on 31 carries and one touchdown.

·         Scored a rushing touchdown in his sixth consecutive game, matching the longest streak in franchise history. Domanick Williams rushed for touchdowns in the last six games of the 2004 season.

·         Scored his eighth rushing touchdown of the season and the 27th of his career when he plunged in from 1 yard out in the fourth quarter.


·         Boomed a 66-yard punt in the third quarter. It was the second-longest punt in team history, trailing his 69-yard effort in Week 2 at Miami (9/18). He now has three punts of 60 yards or more this season.


·         Registered his first interception of the season and the third of his career when he picked off Atlanta QB Matt Ryan in the first quarter.


·         Extended his franchise-record streak of consecutive games played with a reception to 81 with a 5-yard catch in the first quarter.

·         Passed Joey Galloway (701) for 33rd on the NFL’s all-time receptions list with his second catch of the game, a gain of 20 yards in the first quarter.

·         Caught a season-long 50-yard pass in the second quarter from QB T.J. Yates in the second quarter. The catch set up a Texans touchdown three plays later.


·         Made his first career start. He became the first rookie to start on offense for the Texans this season and the third member of the Texans’ 2011 draft class to start a game, joining DE J.J. Watt and OLB Brooks Reed.

·         Became the third rookie to start at quarterback, joining David Carr (2002) and Dave Ragone (2003).

·         Completed 12-of-25 passes for 188 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, giving him a passer rating of 86.8.

·         Led the first fourth-quarter game-winning drive of his career, taking the Texans on a 19-play, 85-yard drive that culminated with RB Arian Foster’s 1-yard touchdown run with 6:05 remaining in the game. The touchdown broke a 10-10 tie and proved to be the winning score.

·         Surpassed Dave Ragone (135) for the second-most yards by a Texans rookie quarterback in team history with a 28-yard throw to RB Arian Foster in the second quarter. The completion gave him 82 yards in the game and 152 on the season.

·         Threw his first career touchdown pass when he hit TE Joel Dreessen from 3 yards out in the second quarter.

·         Surpassed the team record for most passing yards by a rookie in his first career start before halftime. A 9-yard pass to RB Arian Foster in the second quarter gave him 154 yards in the game, moving him past David Carr’s total of 145 yards in his first start vs. Dallas on 9/8/02, the first game in team history.

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Texans win 17-10; watch Kubiak live

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 4, 2011 – 3:18 pm

The Texans beat the Atlanta Falcons 17-10 in a thrilling fourth-quarter finish at Reliant Stadium on Sunday. The game wasn’t decided until Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s pass to the end zone from the Texans’ 30-yard line fell incomplete on the final play.

Running back Arian Foster led the way for the Texans with 111 rushing yards and a touchdown on 33 carries. Texans wide receiver left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates finished 12-of-25 for 188 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start.

The Texans are now 9-3 with a franchise-record-tying six-game winning streak.

Watch the Texans’ postgame press conferences live right here on Texans TV.

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Texans-Falcons game blog

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 4, 2011 – 2:05 pm

I’ll be posting updates after every score in the Texans’ Week 13 game against the Atlanta Falcons at Reliant Stadium. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the most recent updates.

The Falcons won the coin toss and elected to receive.

First quarter

4:03: Texans 3 – Falcons 0

Texans kicker Neil Rackers makes a 43-yard field goal.

Drive summary: 6 plays, 13 yards, 2:45

Key plays: Cornerback Jason Allen picked off Matt Ryan and returned the ball to the Atlanta 40-yard line. Two plays later, Arian Foster ran 10 yards to the left side for a first down. On third-and-one from the 21, it looked like Foster got enough for a first down but he was spotted down at the 21. The Texans called a timeout and lined up to go for it on fourth-and-inches, but a false start on right guard Mike Brisiel pushed the Texans back five yards and brought on the field goal unit.

Second quarter

10:08: Texans 10 – Falcons 0

Tight end Joel Dreessen catches a three-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal.

Drive summary: 7 plays, 80 yards, 4:00

Key plays: On third-and-12 from his own 18-yard line, Yates beat the blitz with a screen pass to Foster for 28 yards. On the very next play, he slipped as he took the snap but got up, rolled right and completed a 50-yard bomb down the middle to Andre Johnson. Johnson made the catch right over top of cornerback Dominique Franks, showing off his exceptionally strong hands.

5:06: Texans 10 – Falcons 3

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant makes a 19-yard field goal.

Drive summary: 10 plays, 79 yards, 5:02

Key plays: On second-and-five from the Atlanta 25, Ryan found tight end Tony Gonzalez open over the middle for a 17-yard gain. Falcons running back Michael Turner ran for 16 yards up the middle on third-and-one from the Houston 49. Ryan hit Gonzalez for a 26-yard gain on the next play, but on third-and-goal from the one-yard line, Texans safety Glover Quin deflected a pass intended for Gonzalez to bring on the Falcons’ field goal unit.

Third quarter

1:46: Texans 10 – Falcons 10

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White catches a four-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan on first-and-goal.

Drive summary: 7 plays, 56 yards, 2:38

Key plays: On third-and-eight from the Atlanta 46, Ryan completed an 18-yard pass to Gonzalez. On third-and-four from the Houston 30, Ryan hit wide receiver Julio Jones for a 26-yard gain past cornerback Kareem Jackson. Gonzalez scored on the next play.

Fourth quarter

6:05: Texans 17 – Falcons 10

Arian Foster runs for a one-yard touchdown on second-and-goal.

Drive summary: 19 plays, 85 yards, 10:41

Key plays: Yates aired it out deep for Johnson on first-and-10 from the Houston 18. The pass went incomplete, and Johnson pulled up lame and hobbled off the field to the sideline. It was later announced he had a right hamstring injury and was questionable to return. Foster then ran twice for 16 yards to close out the third quarter, giving the Texans a first down at their own 34-yard line. Yates threw an apparent pick-six on the second play of the fourth quarter, but it was nullified by two penalties on the Falcons. Yates completed a 12-yard pass to Kevin Walter on third-and-four to the Atlanta 45. Tate for 13 yards to the Atlanta 31. Foster for 12 yards to the 18 on third-and-nine. Yates scrambled up the middle for eight yards on third-and-nine from the 17. On fourth-and-one, Foster picked up seven yards down to the two.

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Texans-Falcons halftime by the numbers

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 4, 2011 – 1:47 pm

We’re at halftime of the Texans’ Week 13 game against the Atlanta Falcons at Reliant Stadium. The Texans will receive to start the third quarter. Here’s a look at halftime by the numbers:

10-3: The score, in favor of the Texans
202-123: Total yards, in favor of the Texans
146-94: Passing yards, in favor of the Texans
Rushing yards, in favor of the Texans
18:09-11:51: Time of possession, in favor of the Texans
102.9: Passer rating for Texans QB T.J. Yates (10-of-18, 1 TD) in his first-career start
18.2: Passer rating for Falcons QB Matt Ryan (8-of-9, 2 INTs)
1: Turnover for Yates on a controversial fumble ruling
3: Yards on Yates’ second-quarter TD pass to TE Joel Dreessen
43: Yards on Texans K Neil Rackers’ first-quarter FG
Receiving yards for Texans WR Andre Johnson (3 catches)
Receiving yards for Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez (4 catches)
Rushing yards per carry for the Texans
Rushing yards per carry for the Falcons
1: Interception apiece by Texans CBs Kareem Jackson and Jason Allen
50.0: Average for Texans P Brett Hartmann on 3 punts

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Texans-Falcons inactives, lineup changes

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 4, 2011 – 10:36 am

Here are the inactives and lineup changes for the Texans’ Week 13 game against the Atlanta Falcons at Reliant Stadium. Kickoff is at noon CT.

Texans inactives
1 QB Kellen Clemens
26 CB Brandon Harris
47 FB Lawrence Vickers
61 G Thomas Austin
66 T Andrew Gardner
88 TE Garrett Graham
93 DE Tim Bulman

Texans starting lineup changes

Falcons inactives
4 QB John Parker Wilson
20 CB Brent Grimes
26 CB Kelvin Hayden
54 LB Stephen Nicholas
66 C Brett Romberg
73 OL Kirk Chambers
98 DE Cliff Matthews

Falcons starting lineup changes
Dominique Franks will start at left cornerback for Brent Grimes. Mike Peterson will start at outside linebacker for Stephen Nicholas.

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Texans-Falcons Friday injury report

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 2, 2011 – 2:43 pm

Here’s the Friday (final) injury report for the Texans and Atlanta Falcons:


DE Tim Bulman (calf/DNP)


TE Garrett Graham (hamstring/limited), FB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring/DNP)

LB Mister Alexander (shoulders/full), CB Jason Allen (thumb/full), G Mike Brisiel (ankle/full), NT Shaun Cody (toe/ankle/full), LB Brian Cushing (ribs/limited), TE Owen Daniels (knee/full), LB Tim Dobbins (shoulder/full), TE Joel Dreessen (neck/full), WR Andre Johnson (knee/limited), CB Johnathan Joseph (hip/full), FS Danieal Manning (ankle/full), SS Glover Quin (elbow/full), DE Antonio Smith (shoulder/back/full), G Wade Smith (ankle/full), DE J.J. Watt (knee/thigh/full)


CB Brent Grimes (knee/DNP)

CB Kelvin Hayden (toe/DNP), LB Stephen Nicholas (quadricep/DNP)

WR Julio Jones (hamstring/limited), RB Michael Turner (groin/limited), DT Vance Walker (groin/limited)

DE John Abraham (non-injury/full), T Sam Baker (back/limited), TE Tony Gonzalez (non-injury/full), C Todd McClure (non-injury/full), CB Dunta Robinson (neck/full)

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The good, the bad: A quick look at the Falcons

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 2, 2011 – 11:48 am

Here’s a quick look at the Texans’ Week 13 opponent, the Atlanta Falcons (7-4, 1-2 NFC South), whom the Texans last played in 2007 at the Georgia Dome.

The good: Quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner, wide receivers Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas and tight end Tony Gonzalez. It’s easily one of the most talented groups of skill position players in the NFL, and one that will present challenges for the Texans’ No. 1 defense across the board.

Turner ranks fourth in the NFL with 948 rushing yards. White is 11th in receiving yards with 830, while Gonzalez (630), Jones (498) and Douglas (428) each have more than 400. Gonzalez, the top receiving tight end in NFL history, leads Atlanta with seven receiving touchdowns. Jones, the explosive first-round pick out of Alabama, averages a team-high 16.6 yards per catch.

The Falcons have the NFL’s second-ranked rushing defense, allowing 83.5 rushing yards per game. They have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 14 consecutive games dating back to 2010.

The bad: The Falcons have only 20 sacks this season, sixth-fewest in the NFL. No Atlanta player has more than four sacks. Atlanta has forced only 16 turnovers, which is middle-of-the-pack (16th) in the league rankings.

The Falcons rank 23rd in passing defense, allowing 245.7 yards per game. They’ll be without starting cornerback Brent Grimes this weekend because of a knee injury, and nickel corner Kelvin Hayden (toe) also could be inactive.

Turner (groin) and Jones (hamstring) have yet to practice this week because of injuries. It’s unclear if either will be available this weekend.

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Texans-Falcons Thursday injury report

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 1, 2011 – 4:16 pm

Here’s the Thursday injury report for the Texans and Atlanta Falcons:


Did Not Participate in Practice
DE Tim Bulman (calf), FB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring)

Limited Participation in Practice
LB Brian Cushing (ribs), TE Garrett Graham (hamstring), WR Andre Johnson (knee)

Full Participation in Practice
LB Mister Alexander (shoulders), LB Tim Dobbins (shoulder), CB Jason Allen (thumb), G Mike Brisiel (ankle), NT Shaun Cody (toe/ankle), TE Owen Daniels (knee), LB Tim Dobbins (shoulder), TE Joel Dreessen (neck), CB Johnathan Joseph (hip), FS Danieal Manning (ankle), SS Glover Quin (elbow), DE Antonio Smith (shoulder/back), G Wade Smith (ankle), DE J.J. Watt (knee/thigh)


Did Not Participate in Practice
CB Brent Grimes (knee), CB Kelvin Hayden (toe), WR Julio Jones (hamstring), LB Stephen Nicholas (quadricep), RB Michael Turner (groin)

Limited Participation in Practice
T Sam Baker (back), DT Vance Walker (groin)

Full Participation in Practice
DE John Abraham (non-injury), TE Tony Gonzalez (non-injury), C Todd McClure (non-injury), CB Dunta Robinson (neck)

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