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Old 08-23-2015, 03:00 AM   #1
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Moore encouraged by defense's performance

The Texans defense was looking forward to the matchup against one of the AFC's top teams and top quarterbacks on Saturday night at NRG Stadium. Peyton Manning and the Broncos visited Houston and came away with a 14-10 victory.

But the victory had little to do with Manning's performance. He played into the second quarter, but generated no points on four drives that all finished with the Broncos punting the ball.

He has played a lot of great games in Houston against the Texans. Those performances all came with the Indianapolis Colts and in games far more meaningful than a week two preseason game.

Nonetheless, his first game action under new head coach and former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, left the Texans starting defense feeling like they are doing the things they can build on as the preseason reaches the halfway point.

Texans starting safety Rahim Moore spent the last three seasons in Denver facing Manning in practice.

“We just competed. I was telling the defense some tips from me being there for four years," Moore said.

"We contested all throws. We stopped the run, which is very good. And I don’t think they even passed the 50, which is good."

Actually, Manning did lead the Broncos to the Texans 41-yard line, but they were hit with a holding penalty and ended up punting on fourth and 17. Houston held the Broncos to just four first downs when Manning was in the game, that included a pair of three-and-outs.

"Especially for somebody that’s not really game planning," Moore continued. "We’re out there just winging it. But that’s a good football team we played tonight, and I think defensively we played pretty good.”

Houston allowed just 81 yards with Manning guiding the Broncos offense. Manning was 8-of-14 for just 52 yards. The Broncos ran for just 29 yards while Manning was at the controls.

"You’ve got to stop the run. A lot of people talk about this league is a passing league, but it’s not if you stop the run," Moore said. "

I mean if you don’t stop the pass, they pass on you. If you don’t stop either one, they’re going to do either one. When you stop the run, it doesn’t wear your defense out, so now you make a team one dimensional."

"I think that we’re getting better at that," Moore added.

"Mind you, we don’t even have our starters out there and we’re stopping the run, so that shows you the depth that we have and the potential that we have to be great in this defense.”

Four expected key defensive contributors sat the game out. J.J. Watt, Vince Wilfork and Johnathan Joseph were all given the night off, just as was the case in the preseason opener. 

Jadeveon Clowney, last season's number one overall pick, also did not play as he continues to work his way back from microfracture surgery. Clowney practice on a limited basis throughout the week and he also participated in pre-game warmups.

Moore also thought he and the defense took a step forward. 

“As a team, we improved. Personally, I improved for sure," Moore said.

"That’s what it’s all about. Being real with yourself and looking at yourself in the mirror, and saying how can you improve, what can you do to get better?

"Last week, it wasn’t like I played terrible, it’s getting a rough start. Today, I feel more comfortable. I’m more comfortable within the team, in the scheme. It was a good day.” 

A good day indeed for the starting defense, who held their own against one of the leagues' best quarterbacks. Albeit in a week two preseason game.

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