Houston’s offense did not operate well throughout their first few drives with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud leading the way, but looked much more efficient with Davis Mills and Case Keenum playing the rest of the game.
Rookie quarterbacks are known to struggle, therefore it is not a surprise to see Stroud have some trouble in his first NFL action. Stroud did not play enough on Thursday night for the talented rookie to get comfortable, throwing only four passes for 13 yards and an interception.
Stroud is expected to start the next preseason game, and will slowly get comfortable with more and more in-game action. There is no reason to hit the panic button after less than a quarter of football played for the talented rookie.
Player one: wide receiver Tank Dell
Tank Dell was the best player on the field for the Texans and Patriots Thursday night. The talented third-round rookie out of Houston was wide open all night long, and developed chemistry with quarterback Davis Mills, catching five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Dell has been praised all offseason for his ability to create separation, along with his extremely impressive quickness, which was clearly displayed throughout the entire game. Dell will be a huge part of the Texans plans moving forward.
Player two: running back Mike Boone
Mike Boone was the Texans best running back against the Patriots, with four rushing attempts for 25 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
Boone did not have a monster day, but was efficient with the ball in his hands. Outside of Boone, the only other player that had a decent day running the ball was Gerrid Doaks, who had five carries for 20 yards.
The veteran running back is fighting for a roster spot, but made a solid first impression for Houston.
Player three: wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson
Xavier Hutchinson has had a very impressive first offseason for the Texans and is expected to make an impact during the regular season, but was only targeted two times in his Texans debut.
Hutchinson caught only one pass, but it was for a good gain of 20 yards and was not far away from scoring his first touchdown. The talented rookie will have plenty of opportunities to make plays throughout these next two preseason games against the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints.
Player four: tight end Teagan Quitoriano
Teagan Quitoriano was just activated off the physically unable to perform list, and could potentially make his debut against the Dolphins.
Quitoriano was active for only nine games last season, but made some plays when given the opportunity. Quitoriano had a touchdown catch against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night football, along with a touchdown catch against the Kansas City Chiefs, and a huge 52-yard catch and run against the Indianapolis Colts.
Quitoriano is behind schedule due to the second-year player missing a huge part of this offseason, but he definitely has some untapped potential and it will be interesting to see if he is on the field in Miami, and if not, his next opportunity could be against the New Orleans Saints.
The Texans will have their first home preseason game against the Miami Dolphins this Saturday at 3 p.m. CDT.