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Brian Cushing: A
Brian Cushing, in his second game back since suffering a torn ACL, had a performance that was good enough to rival even J.J. Watt's.
Cushing, like Watt, was a nightmare for the Titans offense. He flew all over the field blanketing tight ends and running backs, shutting down Chris Johnson in the run game and sacking the quarterback when he was asked to blitz.
His final stat line was just as incredible as he looked on the field: he turned in 11 tackles—four for loss—and two sacks.
Joe Mays: B-
Joe Mays wasn't bad nor good in this one. Just plain average.
He did, however, make one huge play for the Texans late in the game. The Titans were backed up against their own goal-line and Mays hit Chris Johnson is the endzone, forcing a safety.
Mays did not consistently play well, but he did make a huge, game-changing play.
Whitney Mercilus: B
Whitney Mercilus, despite not tallying a sack, had a solid game for the Texans' defense. His run defense, which is considered one of his biggest weaknesses, was impressive; he made several good plays on Johnson.
He also applied pressure to the quarterback, either forcing him to scramble out of the pocket or to rush his throw.
Brooks Reed: B
Brooks Reed has a very similar game to Mercilus'. He was solid against the run, did well in coverage and occasionally pressured the quarterback.
Darryl Sharpton: B
Darryl Sharpton had perhaps the most surprising performance out of all the Texans linebackers. Despite coming off the bench and getting subbed out when the Texans played nickel and dime defenses, he managed to put together a very good performance.
He was stout against the run, tallying five total tackles; he was also good in coverage, always staying close to his assignments.
After this one, Sharpton will certainly see an increased amount of playing time.