There was a lot to get to excited about in tonight's exhibition matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Rookies making plays, veterans showing they still got it, and a local kid starting to make noise in the Texans backup quarterback competition all highlighted what was mostly a positive outing for starters and depth players alike.
The battle for the third running back position took yet another turn this week as Deji Karim had his chance in the spotlight, ripping off 55 yards on just 9 carries and helping T.J. Yates look much, much better than last week's performance in Minnesota. Karim got a little bit of help when rookie guard prospect David Quessenberry (#77) also improved on his shaky Week 1 performance with solid pass protection and run blocking all night long, including this beauty of a pull around tight end Garrett Graham.
Not everyone along the offensive line was on their A-game, however, as Derek Newton continued to remind me why I despise his presence on the field in the first place.
One can only hope that Brandon Brooks explodes on to the scene enough in 2013 to keep my sanity in check.
Defensively, the Texans had a solid outing against an offense that expects to be much improved from its 2012 iteration. Antonio Smith in particular looked ready for the Monday night opener in San Diego with a couple monster plays in the back field.
Smith's partner in crime down in the trenches, J.J. Watt, played only two snaps tonight, but he is expected to play a larger role in next week's "dress rehearsal" game against the New Orleans Saints. That's right, in just eight days we will finally get to see J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, Antonio Smith, Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, and maybe even Whitney Mercilus on the field all at the same time for an entire drive. Consider me stoked.
There is a lot to digest over the course of the coming week, but overall my first impression of tonight's performances was favorable. At the very least I am pleased to see the Texans come out of this one with no major injuries. I wish I could say the same for Dustin Keller, who unfortunately incurred a terrifyingly brutal knee injury on a hit delivered by D.J. Swearinger.
Keep it here at BRB throughout the week as break down, digest, and make fun of every scrap of tonight's game. Until then, hurray for meaningless victory.