- Tania Ganguli, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- With Wade Phillips taking over as interim head coach, the Texans defensive coordinator handed over defensive play-calling duties to secondary coach Vance Joseph.
In his first outing in that role during the 25-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Texans' defense finished better than it began.
"I felt fine about it," Joseph said. "I was proud of the guys for just fighting through it and playing the whole game. But I felt fine."
The Texans allowed 14 first downs in the first half and let the Colts convert on 5 of 8 third downs. Indianapolis began by converting their first five third downs and that was it. The Colts went 0-for-10 after that start, not converting a single third down in the second half. They only notched four first downs in the second half.
Joseph attributed that to the players and fewer penalties rather than anything he did.
"Our calls haven't changed in three years," Joseph said. "So players play."
Joseph called the plays from the sideline, just as Phillips had done before him. Phillips had the ability to veto his calls, but said he never did that.
"I gave him some heads-up a couple of times, 'Hey, what about this or that?'" Phillips said. "Again, I thought the defense played really good the second half, but too late."
It is hard to fault the defense too much, though, in a game in which the offense only scored three points.