The Texans' kicking game hasn't been talked about, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been good.
Donnie Jones had 10 punts for 488-yards in Sunday's win over the Titans (48.8 ypp). Jones put a season high five punts inside Tennessee's 20-yard line and has been helping the Texans' defense all season long.
“He was big-time yesterday," Gary Kubiak said Monday. "We obviously struggled huge in the second half offensively; Donnie has 10 punts. We kept them pinned all day. Our special teams, the job that Joe (Marciano) has done with the injuries and the young players having to step in. Yesterday, we had some situations where we barely had enough guys to get on the field and those types of things. I think we made tremendous progress as a special teams unit in the second half of the season. Yesterday was big for us and Donnie led that.”
Remarkably, Jones has recorded a punt over 53 yards in every game except one. He's had a punt over 60-yards in four games this season. In 69 total punts, Jones has just five touchbacks.
Shayne Graham hasn't missed a kick inside 40-yards this season. His struggle has been getting the ball into the end zone on kickoffs, something he did do three times Sunday. Graham's 40 extra points are second in the NFL and Graham ranks fifth in the NFL in points. Graham had made only one 50-plus field goal this season before Sunday and it was in the Texans' only loss. It was good to see him find himself from that distance again when he hit a 50-yard attempt in the third quarter against the Titans.
“I think it’s big for his confidence," Kubiak said. "I’ll watch him practice. He’s been banging the ball really good from 55. He’s been handling that. He kicked off better yesterday, mishit one of them, but for the most part, he should gain a lot of confidence coming out of this game. We have confidence in him. He’s kicked in big games. He’s made big kicks. He’s going to probably be in some of those situations here down the stretch. I think yesterday was a big step in the right direction.”