Tonight we head into the final game of the preseason, as the Texans face off with the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Houston. like every other NFL team, will be making final cuts over the next few days as they slim down to a 53-man roster and move toward the regular season.
As the Texans look to dominate the Cowboys on their home turf, here are a few things to keep an eye on:
The Houston Texans might have a legitimate special teams unit this season. Let that idea sink in for a minute. Special teams coverage has been potentially the best we’ve seen since the Texans became a franchise. The return group also looked more alive last week, particularly in rookie Tyler Ervin’s big run. Tonight, look for the special teams unit to make some big plays as the return team fights for roster spots.
The cuts at running back are coming. While Ervin, Alfred Blue, Akeem Hunt, Kenny Hilliard, and Jonathan Grimes all made the initial 75-man roster, it is unlikely that Houston keeps more than three of them moving forward. I’m betting that Ervin cemented his place on the team with a much-improved performance last week, but the other RBs will battle it out tonight.
The backup QBs will have center stage. Tom Savage has certainly improved over the past few seasons and has had an excellent preseason so far. Tonight’s game will offer a longer look at both he and Brandon Weeden as Brock Osweiler sticks to the sideline in anticipation of the regular season. With a few injuries to QBs around the league, there are rumors swirling about backup QB trades. I’m betting both Savage and Weeden remain on the Texans' roster for the regular season, but tonight could be an opportunity for one of them to shine as potential trade-bait.
Houston still has roughly 100 wide receivers on the roster. While DeAndre Hopkins, Jaelen Strong, Will Fuller, and Braxton Miller have obviously made the team, Cecil Shorts III, Keith Mumphery, Wendall Williams, and Quenton Bundrage (who?) are all vying for the last one or two roster slots. Tonight will be the last opportunity for the remaining wideouts to make an impression before final cuts roll in.
This is it, the last round of preseason games before the regular season begins. Let’s get prepared for some (sort-of) football, Houston fans! Remember that the next time your Texans take the field, the wins and losses really count.
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