Because the Texans have been unable to get their running game untracked enough to make it a bigger…
Texans Report Card vs Bengals
RUSHING OFFENSE: D-plus -- RB Steve Slaton continued to struggle, finishing with 43 yards on 19 carries, a 2.3-yard average. After he lost his third fumble of the season, he was replaced by Chris Brown, who carried nine times for 45 yards, most in the fourth quarter. Part of the blame goes to the offensive line for mediocre run blocking.
PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- QB Carson Palmer threw for 259 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted at the Texans' 11 by OLB Brian Cushing, who also forced two fumbles. Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco (five for 103) had his first 100-yard game since 2007. Dunta Robinson allowed a 50-yard completion to Ochocinco.
RUSH DEFENSE: A-plus -- Cedric Benson, who entered the game as the league's leading rusher, was limited to 44 yards on 16 carries. MLB DeMeco Ryans (12 tackles) and OLB Brian Cushing (nine) were the leading tacklers. The defensive players swarmed to Benson and gang-tackled him before he was able to square his shoulders and get going downhill.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- K Kris Brown had a field goal blocked for the second game in a row. P Matt Turk had two touchbacks. The coverage teams were outstanding as they have been all season. Jacoby Jones' 30-yard punt return to midfield was wasted by the offense.
COACHING: A -- One of Gary Kubiak's strengths is getting his team to bounce back. Kubiak is the same win or lose. There are no peaks and valleys. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is using the pass to set up the run. Defensive coordinator Frank Bush is forced to call a lot of blitzes to pressure the quarterback.
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