It was far from perfect, as the defense was pretty pathetic most of the day, though they did come up with a three-and-out when they HAD to have one to set up the winning drive. Even more disconcerting was the loss of the team’s defensive quarterback, linebacker DeMeco Ryans. Ryans tore his Achilles in the first half and is lost for the remainder of the season, and won’t be available until at least Training Camp next year. He was to have surgery to repair the injury early this week.
Coach Gary Kubiak was proud of his team’s never-say-day attitude. “I just think we showed tremendous heart and it was all led by our quarterback who is absolutely spectacular. You can’t win games in this league unless your quarterback is special and ours was special today. We struggled on defense all day long. We played pretty damn good on offense, except for a couple of series in the first half, and we found a way to get it done. It sure didn’t look like it was going to happen but we just kept going and going. We found some way to make some plays and get out of there with a win."
Linebacker Brian Cushing knows what the team faces now with the loss of Ryans. “We lost our captain today. We lost him for the season and when something like that happens, it’s a blow to the team. It’s a blow for morale but we have to play for him now. We have to step it up in a lot of ways on defense and we know that.”
Running back Arian Foster echoed Cushing’s comments. “It’s like I said earlier, he’s a leader on our team, not just on the field. He’s just one of those guys that everybody looks up to. He’s kind of an iconic figure in this locker room and this city. It’s tragic that he went down because he works so hard and does all the right things. It’s part of the game. It’s how it goes. He’ll be rooting for us.”
Ryans was frustrated when asked his thoughts about his season coming to an end so early. “It’s the first time I’ve had to deal with something like this—a real serious injury. (This is) my first time ever in football having to deal with this, but its part of the game. It’s something different but I’m ready to do my best (to do) what I have to do to rehab and get back next year with the team.”
The good news for the Texans is that they have this weekend off and will have time to review all available options in order to find the best replacement for Ryans. Hopefully, in the meantime, Kubiak and company will be able to figure out how to put a defense on the field that can make stops earlier in games so the offense doesn’t have to pull a rabbit out of the hat in order to get a win. The rest of the season will definitely be interesting!