You couldn’t be happier to see Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins tearing up the Lions’ defense on the first offensive series.
Whitney Mercilus getting the strip sack was a thing of beauty. No other player can benefit from the reemergence of Watt and the presence of Jadeveon Clowney this season. He really can be an asset on the defense when at his full potential.
In the third quarter, CB Derrick Baity Jr. was getting picked on down field by the Detroit Lions’ offense. Two out of three straight plays the Lions targeted the rookie corner back in their second drive of the second half. He did come up injured on the second of the long pass plays, but came back in the fourth, and the Lions continued to attack him.
Pass rush looks to be of continued concern as the back-up group struggled again to generate any pressure on the quarter back. For the d-line, you’ve got to love the motor of Albert Huggings. He could sneak onto this roster as an immediate sub in for Christian Covington if he can continue his success. I loved to see the Texans back-ups stonewall the Lions on their putrid attempt for a two-point conversion.
The tight end position is one of the most intriguing storylines of the year. There are five tight ends who deserve to make the roster. Jerell Adams may not make this roster, but he’s been stellar in his opportunities. Especially with Kahale Warring out, he’s been able to shine in his absence. Great to see Jordan Thomas with a catch for a first down.
The pass protection looked intriguingly good. Roderick Johnson goes from no-name to potentially putting himself in the conversation for a roster spot. With Matt Kalil out and Julie’n Davenport looking like less of an option, Johnson can play his way into a starting role out of nowhere
The running back room is a cluster fest. There really isn't anything that separates Damarea Crockett, Karan Higdon Jr., and Josh Ferguson.Yes Crockett and Higdon Jr. are getting the bulk of the carries in the preseason, but that’s due to this coaching staff needing to have more evidence and film of them to keep them over Howell and Ferguson. Neither rookie running back had an explosive play and averaged under 2 yards per carry through three quarters. It doesn't look like either have shown anything at the RB position that blows the others out of the water, so it’s up to special teams to fully determine who stays around. Howell’s booming rushing yards in the fourth quarter looked far beyond the running ability of the other backs. His TD along with a few inside running plays certainly separated himself from the group, but Houston would like to see that play against better competition first before we crown him RB3.
Vyncint Smith and DeAndre Carter looked pretty solid. Smith caught a TD. Carter subbed in for injured Keke Coutee. Tyron Johnson is making his case to get on the roster. He is battling for the final spot in the WR group. A stellar kick return in the fourth quarter elevated his game play tape. He did whiff on a long pass play, but overall he has a chance to make the roster.
The Texans play again next Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys.