Final Score: Texans 34, Cardinals 24.
Houston looked a lot like a playoff team today in a convincing victory over the Arizona Cardinals. With positional adjustments and roster spots on the line, this is what we learned today:
The offensive line has a lot to work on, and we knew that heading into this game. Houston will get some of their starters back for the regular season, but center Greg Mancz is really going to need to step up to protect Brock Osweiler. I’m not trying to badger the guy. I know it’s still the preseason and Mancz is still adjusting to the line as a starter. But we need the line to shore up so Os doesn’t get murdered on live television.
Lamar Miller is everything I hoped he would be. Watching his first TD as a Texan was incredibly validating and a tremendously exciting experience.
The Texans' defense isn’t perfect, but sometimes they come pretty close. An Andre Hal interception on the first drive of the first quarter, followed by a John Simon pick-six (watch it here) on the first drive of the second quarter...they just kept the turnovers coming. The defense is struggling in a few areas, but they’re also missing the best player in the league (you may have heard of J.J. Watt). They’ll be even better with their perennial Pro-Bowler back. Kevin Johnson, Whitney Mercilus, and Benardrick McKinney all looked good today. Houston is still lacking the safety that I begged them to draft this year, and Clowney was at about half the power he was playing with last week.
Special teams coverage was outstanding today.
Will Fuller is capable of great and terrifying things, including what worries me the most about him: his unreliable hands. That pass from Osweiler was solid, and probably (definitely) would have been a touchdown. Fuller dropped 14% of his passes last season at Notre Dame, and that drop today would have been a disaster in a regular season game. He grabbed a TD later in the quarter to help make up for it, but that part of him will scare me until he proves otherwise.
Tyler Ervin proved his worth with a great return for 58 yards in the second quarter. He looked more alive in general today.
Osweiler had himself an excellent day. He finished with a 139.1 passer rating, and was 11/13 for 146 yards, one TD, no INTs. That’s including the drop by Fuller.
Tom Savage to Jaelen Strong is a beautiful thing. "Savage to Strong" might be my favorite TD call of all time.
The floor is yours, Texans fans! This is your final game thread for Texans vs Cardinals, and you can discuss the best and worst of the game in the comments section.
Cardinals vs Texans coverage