The Texans' defense ranked first in points allowed and first in yards allowed prior to ILB Brian Cushing's October 8 ACL tear, compared to 18th in scoring allowed and 13th in yards.
They plummeted from the No. 2-ranked pass defense with Cushing to No. 24 in pass defense without him. "He was always the heart and soul of the defense," CB Johnathan Joseph said. "We went as Cush went." An every-down linebacker, Cushing was the centerpiece of Houston's oft-used dime defense. The Texans are confident that Cushing will be all systems go for the 2013 season.