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Connor Barwin: B
Like Smith, Connor Barwin had a solid, but not flashy game. He pressured Dalton several times, and he also had a really great play against an attempted Bengals’ screen pass. Barwin exploded the play and knocked the Bengals back for several yards.
Barrett Ruud: D
Although he started at middle linebacker, Barrett Ruud only recorded one tackle. The Texans are definitely missing Darryl Sharpton and Tim Dobbins. To alleviate some of the criticism, though, the Texans played nickel for most of the night and kept Ruud of the field.
Bradie James: B+
Bradie James was solid against the run, and he played well in coverage. He held the Texans’ linebacking core together amidst all the injuries, and he certainly deserves some credit.
Brooks Reed: B+
Brooks Reed had a game like Barwin. He could have contributed more, but he did not hurt the Texans’ defense. He brought down Dalton when he was attempting to scramble for a first down, and recorded one of the Texans’ two sacks.