Sunday, August 21, 2011
Quick hits from Texans' win over Saints
By Paul Kuharsky
Quick observations and thoughts on the Houston Texans 27-14 preseason win over the New Orleans Saints at Reliant Stadium Saturday night:
The big guns: The three main guys on offense all looked great. Matt Schaub threw with precision and was in control, hitting on 12 of 16 passes for 163 yards and a 107 passer rating. In his first preseason action with Andre Johnson in the lineup, he found his No. 1 guy four times for 100 yards, even with a Johnson drop. Arian Foster ran very well, with 47 yards and two touchdowns on five carries.
Emerging: Ben Tate did some very nice work as the second running back behind Foster, showing just why the Texans found him such a system fit when they used a second-round pick on him last season. He carried nine times for 95 yards and a score and also caught a 13-yard pass. Once Derrick Ward and Steve Slaton are healthy, the Texans will have quite the loaded backfield.
Run room: The defense did well sniffing out screens and short stuff from Drew Brees and frustrated the quarterback. But New Orleans ran well with their frontline offense finding 86 ground yards and a 4.6-yard average in the first half including a 17 yard run and a touchdown run. The new defensive front would surely like to be more discouraging to an offense looking to hand it off.
Also: First round end J.J. Watt was disruptive and energetic, again. … Kareem Jackson did well to let Devery Henderson get in trouble for taking a couple swings in an after-the-whistle incident. … Xavier Adibi started in place of DeMeco Ryans (elbow) as one of the inside linebackers. Adibi was way late diving in to hit an already-down Lance Moore, drawing a personal foul early. … Chase Daniel's 56-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Morgan came over new safety Danieal Manning.