Secondary shuts down Green in wild card game

Secondary shuts down Green in wild card game
January 6, 2013, 10:30 am
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Coming into Saturday, one of the biggest keys to stopping the Bengals was stopping A.J. Green.

That’s exactly what the Texans did.

Green finished his day with five receptions for 80 yards but good receivers will make a few plays. The Texans didn’t let Green take over the game.

“Obviously, he’s a big rangy guy, he’s a taller guy,” said cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who covered Green for most of the day. “But for me it was just about battling all day and making him work for each and every catch he has to make.”

In the first half, Green didn’t have a catch. He didn’t have a target. But in the second half, Andy Dalton really started to look his way.

Green had three catches for 57 yards on the drive that pulled the Bengals within a touchdown, 16-10, in the third quarter. The bulk of those yards came on a 45-yarder over top of Joseph.

But from there, Green didn’t do too much damage.

On the next possession, Joseph picked off a ball that was intended for Green. Dalton and Green had a miscommunication on the play. While Green stopped his route, Joseph kept running it and picked off the pass.  

In the fourth quarter, Dalton took two deep shots to Green but Joseph had tight coverage. On the first, Dalton threw it into the end zone. Joseph covered tight and Kareem Jackson came over late to make sure Green didn’t come up with the catch.

“The play that we had called, that’s my job,” Jackson said. “Whenever my guy goes away, to run high. So I was able to do that and I kind of saw the quarterback throw the ball and I was able to get down there and make a play. I think Johnathan had good coverage on him. He was there. I wasn’t abel to make a play on the ball so I just wanted to dislodge the ball from him. I’m not sure if he caught the ball or what or what happened.”

The last big throw that went Green’s way was late in the fourth quarter. The Bengals were down six and had the ball on the Houston 36-yard line. Dalton threw up a bomb down the right sideline just out of Green’s reach.

“I was trying. I was digging,” Green said of that play. “I was digging but I laid out and couldn’t even get a hand on it.”

Joseph has spent most of the 2012 season battling various injuries but seemed to be himself on Saturday. In fact, he said it’s the healthiest he’s been all year. That’s good news for the Texans, who travel to Foxboro next week.

“He had a great game today,” Kareem Jackson said of Joseph. “And that’s what we expect from him every week.”