Quarterback Matt Ryan now feels comfortable behind an offensive line that has seen its share of personnel changes this season, as he explains during his locker room interview with the Atlanta media.
On the Texans defense:
"When you turn on the tape, it doesn't surprise you. You see really good effort across the board, front seven and in the secondary. They're doing a great job of stopping the run and they're really effective getting after the passer. I think they're second in the League in sacks. So it's a good defense, top to bottom."
On whether the success of the Texans front seven changes what the offense does in pass protection:
"Absolutely. I think you certainly have to game plan to your opponent and your opponent's strengths, so we'll have a good game plan set in place. At the same time, we feel like we have some strengths that they have to adjust to as well so it'll be a good chess match."
On what sets the Texans defense apart from a typical 3-4 defense:
"Typically, from the defensive line in a 3-4, you see two-gap guys that kind of stay at the line of scrimmage and don't get a ton on penetration. But this defense, they really do. They get a lot of penetration. (Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) Wade, he's been in that system a long time. He's got a great feel for calling things at the right time and putting his guys in a good position to make plays. They're doing a great job."
On running the no-huddle offense on the road, where crowd noise is a factor:
"It definitely affects what we do in the no-huddle, but it's something that we've done for a long time. We know how to prepare for it with silent cadences and being able to echo our calls outside and use some hand signals and different things like that. So we'll make the necessary adjustments and be ready to go."
On whether he feels as if he's in the zone, having had success in his last three games:
"I don't worry too much about that kind of stuff. I think, offensively, we still have a lot of areas to improve and that's our focus week-to-week. So, that's where my focus is every week, trying to be consistent, and I think we've been a little more consistent the last two or three weeks."
On the offense's struggles in the third quarter:
"That's just one more of those things. You'd like to be a little more consistent with your play, but you also have to understand as a player that there's going to be ebbs and flows in games. It's how you weather through those things and how you respond to it and I thought our response last week, when the game got within three and we went down the field and scored those points, that was big. Then how our defense responded after a big kickoff return and shutting them down on the goal line. That's what it takes to win in this League and I was proud of our guys for that."
On what is said on the offensive side of the ball about having a killer instinct:
"I think the mindset's the same. I think, when you have opportunities when you're up 17 or more than that and you don't score points and you let them hang around, that's not what you want to do. So, we need to be more opportunistic, I think, in those types of situations. It's appropriate we played Bill Musgrave last week because his comment every week was, 'We'll take one-point blowouts all year'. It doesn't matter how you get them, you just need to get them."
On Texans QB T.J. Yates and how difficult it is being thrown into a starting role:
"I don't want to sound arrogant saying this, but I really haven't been in that position. I imagine it's a tough spot to be in. But they'll have him prepared. I think they'll have him very well prepared and he'll come out and do the best he can."
On Texans LB Brian Cushing and how active he is in both the run and pass defense:
"He's very active. Very good player. Somebody we're going to have to be aware of where he's at in both the run game and the pass game. He looks like, on tape, he's an emotional leader for that defense. He does a great job of rallying those guys and I've been very impressed with him."
On Texans S Danieal Manning and S Glover Quin:
"Safeties are strong. Manning, we've seen a little bit in his days with Chicago, so familiar with him. But all-in-all, it's a very good defense. They do a great job. Their safeties do a great job in coming up and supporting the run, but also in coverage. They're both talented guys that can cover in man coverage, so they make it difficult on an offense because they can do so many different things."
On Texans CB Kareem Jackson:
"I'll have to get (QB John Parker Wilson) J.P.'s scouting report. I think both those guys, really both their corners are playing very well. They put them on islands in their quarters coverage, where they allow their safeties to come up and support the run and those guys have done a great job."
On the importance of having the same starters on the offensive line for several weeks:
"I think all offensive line play, the more you play with each other, your calls get better, your trust for the other guy, passing blocks off, is very important. I think our guys up front have done a great job."
On whether T Will Svitek has become more comfortable in a starting role:
"He definitely has. The more experience that you have out there, the more comfortable you become and I think Will's done a great job for us."