As the deadline for the 53 man roster looms, The Houston Texans showed that there is plenty to be optimistic about during Sunday afternoon’s 34-24 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Quarterback Brock Osweiler looked comfortable as he led the Texans down field converting 11 of 13 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Osweiler and the Texans’ newest receivers and running back that include Braxton Miller, Lamar Miller, and Will Fuller connected early and often. Braxton Miller, who caught three passes for 29 yards, was instrumental in moving the ball to the one yard line on an early fourth-and-three. On that same drive, Lamar Miller, who had four carries for four yards, ran the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. Fuller, who caught a 26 yard pass from Osweiler late in the second quarter to score a touchdown, finished with three catches for 67 yards. The certainty and precision Osweilwer played with on Sunday was no surprise to his teammates.
“I think Brock looked awesome,” Cecil Shorts III said after the game. “I think the offense did a great job, especially the first team, a great job of executing, situational football, getting points. As an offense, we did a pretty good job today. There’s always things you can improve on, but overall, we put up 31 in the first half. That’s solid.”
Shorts went on to talk about Osweiler’s leadership saying, “He’s on top of it. It’s not surprising because he’s studying his butt off each and every day. He’s prepared. He knows his job, and he knows everybody else’s job. As a quarterback, your responsibility is a lot. He does a great job preparing, and I’m not surprised by it at all…He’s very professional, and it showed today.”
The hard work of Osweiler’s teammates isn’t missed on him as he explained, “We have a very talented, skilled group in the offensive room, but they don’t rest on their talent. I think that entire group works extremely hard. Our coaches prepare us; our coaches push us hard.”
On the defensive side of things, Vince Wilkfork tipped an early pass that Andre Hal intercepted. This led to the Texans’ first scoring drive. Though there was nothing notable, Jadeveon Clowney showed signs of disruption on the field. The most memorable play of the game goes to John Simon who tipped a Carson Palmer pass, picked it, and returned the interception for a 58-yard touchdown. “Usually you can’t tip the ball to yourself,” Simon said. “But I just saw it go straight up in the air and I had the opportunity to come down with it. They told me (defensive end) Devon (Still) made a great block on Carson so I’m going to have to go thank him for that.” That marks Simon’s second score after he ran for 41 yards after a fumble recovery two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers.
Simon went on to say, “We’re making it an emphasis to attack the ball and create turnovers. That’s something we practice every day and so far in the preseason we’ve been able to do a decent job of that. But we have to do it in the regular season when it counts, and we’ve got a lot of things to get better at. We gave up a lot of yards (today).”
The Texans face the Dallas Cowboys in their final preseason game and look to improve their record to 4-0 before the regular season begins.