For most of the season, the Houston Texans' defense was one of the elite units in the NFL. Over the past two weeks, however, they've allowed 68 points and find themselves sliding down league rankings.
What's gone wrong and how do you fix it?
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle has today's article of the day along with some ideas on solving the issue.
Perhaps the single biggest factor for the Texans will be the healthy return of Johnathan Joseph. He single-handedly makes the unit better, and it's no coincidence that the roughest games of the year for the defense have come with Joseph battling a hamstring problem.
Houston has also struggled to get pressure from its linebackers. Given the now mounting injuries to the linebacker corp, it's no surprise that 18.5 of the team's 30 sacks have come from the defensive ends.
That's unusual in a 3-4 defense, but then again, J.J. Watt has put up 14.5 all by himself.
Watt is keeping the unit afloat thanks to his MVP-caliber season, but there's no question that an outing against the Texans' defense isn't as intimidating now as it was a few weeks ago.
Houston faces a string of credible offenses to close the season, including a trip to New England to face the Patriots.
Without better health and improved play from the pass-rushers, the Texans could well stumble down the stretch.
Ryan Riddle of Bleacher Report recounts his journey from NFL fan to NFL player.
Scott Kacsmar of Cold Hard Football Facts lists some obscure records that could be broken.
Chase Stuart of Football Perspective introduces the concept of game scripts.
Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com acknowledges the Texans have real cause for concern.
McClain says the only mystery for the Texans is what seed they'll be.
Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle says Brooks Reed is expected to miss time.
Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star says it's silly to think of the Colts as rebuilding.
Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star has details on T.Y. Hilton's punt return.
Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star says Chuck Pagano got a big ovation.
Kyle Rodriguez of Colts Authority posts the staff's running exchange from during the game.
David Climer of the Tennessean says the Titans fooled him again.
D. Reese of Music City Miracles asks how much better Jake Locker makes the offense.
John Glennon of the Tennessean says the offense was insufficient.
Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union argues that the Jaguars can't give up on Blaine Gabbert.
Frenette says Cecil Shorts keeps making big plays for the Jags.
Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union says Chad Henne bounced back well from bad plays.
Stellino says the defense dug deep.
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