(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.) By CHRIS DUNCAN AP Sports Writer The Houston Texans defense was a major hit, literally, in its first year under Wade Phillips, finishing the 2011 season with a franchise-record 44 sacks.
Statistically, this year's defense stacks up well with last year's unit, and defensive end J.J. Watt has emerged as one of the NFL's top pass rushers, now second in the league with 14 1/2. But the pass rush has tapered off as a whole in recent weeks, and the defense has yielded big passing numbers as a result.
The Texans (10-1) have kept right on winning, though, and can clinch a playoff berth with win at Tennessee (4-7) on Sunday.
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