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Thursday, October 22, 2009
Texans' defense shined in win over Bengals

By Paul Kuharsky

Posted by staff

Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans played great offensively Sunday in Cincinnati but it was the defense that won the game. Cedric Benson was averaging 97.4 yards per game entering Week 6 and Carson Palmer's game-winning touchdown passes in the final half minute of two of the Bengals' last three games are well documented. This was not the case Sunday as Benson rushed for just 44 yards on 16 rushes (2.8 yard-per-carry average) and Palmer was never given a chance to change the game in the second half.

Carson Palmer passing by half, Week 6 vs. Texans
Category First half Second half
Comp-att 13-19 10-16
Pass yds 182 77
Yds per att 9.6 4.8
TD-Int 1-0 0-1
Passer rtg 116.6 48.2
Source: ESPN Stats & Information

The Texans stuffed Cincinnati's ground game on first down Sunday. Entering Week 5, the Baltimore Ravens had the top rush defense in the league but Benson averaged 5.2 yards per rush on first down (14-73). Houston has been in the bottom third of the league all season in rush defense but held Benson to 2.4 yards per rush on first down (9-22). That number includes Benson's 10-yard touchdown rush (8 rushes for 12 yards on all other first downs).