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Unsung Hero: You Didn't Hear Duane Brown's Name Called At All, Did You?

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Once upon a time, many a Houston Texans fan speculated that left tackle Duane Brown was (a) a massive bust and (b) the worst left tackle in the NFL. Given his performance on Sunday, it’s safe to say Brown, a first round pick in 2008, has come a long way. In fact, he's come such a long way that you have to jump to get there.

While a lot of Texans, namely all 53 of them plus the coaching staff, deserve credit for a brilliant performance against the Indianapolis Colts, the quietly great game by Brown has gone truly unsung – even if fans knew it would be an important match-up.

It’s more than fair to say that All-Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney owns Brown. In five previous match-ups, Freeney has 7.5 sacks off of the Virginia Tech alumnus. Many Houston fans have lost count of the number of times they have seen Freeney spin and run around Brown which has led to pressured throws, blown up run plays, and a ton of head shaking. On Sunday, for the first time in his career, Duane Brown made Freeney a non-factor with zero tackles, zero sacks, and no real impact on the game.

Brown was helped by the use of rollout passes and only 25 dropbacks by quarterback Matt Schaub, but keeping Freeney out of Schaub’s face for the entire game is worth a huge atta boy. Not allowing Freeney to make a tackle in the run game was just a very well-earned cherry on top of a sweet sundae.

A game does not a career make, but, considering his past struggles with The Human Tornado, Duane should be feeling mighty proud of his performance yesterday. Kudos to Duane Brown, week one’s unsung hero.