Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/9/12
When Mario Williams decided to take his talents to Buffalo during the most recent offseason, the Houston Texans defense suddenly became the property of middle linebacker Brian Cushing. Now, the Texans are in the market for a new owner once again, at least until the end of this season. The All-Pro linebacker suffered what was determined as an ACL tear in Monday night's win over the Jets and will be lost for the season. Cushing's loss is a devastating one for a defense so reliant on his presence across the middle, and it could have an even bigger impact on Houston's Super Bowl dreams this season. At 5-0 and with one of the most well-rounded offenses in the NFL, the Texans secured the title of best team in football over the first quarter-plus of the season. The trio of Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub has provided a steady balance of run and pass, and continue to give opposing defenses fits. Speaking of defense, Houston had already established one of the league's most treacherous groups in 2011 but has just continued to build on that in the early going on 2012.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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