The Houston Texans had a terrible outing against the Arizona Cardinals, losing 32-0. There were some key lessons learned, however. Let’s have an early look at the five things we learned from the beatdown.
5. Jadeveon Clowney looked good in limited action
The first overall pick in the NFL draft was used as an outside linebacker in the preseason game. Although Clowney finished with just one tackle, he did manage a huge tackle for a loss. Stepfan Taylor lost five yards on this monster play by the rookie. Clowney didn’t play much, but he absolutely dominated on that play.
Let’s hope he can dominate all season the way he did on that one play.
4. Third downs were a key difference
There is very little explanation needed here. The Texans didn’t convert on any of their third downs, while the Cardinals converted on 11-of-17, a 64 percent success rate.
That was one of the main reasons the Texans lost. Quite frankly, the offense couldn’t stay on the field, and the defense couldn’t get off the field.
3. Defense was nowhere to be found
Aside from allowing all those third downs to be converted, the Texans defense was awful all night. They allowed 407 yards of offense, and didn’t force any turnovers.
Allowing 30 points against one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL is already a concern. Sure, it’s preseason, but playing like that was flat-out embarrassing. The Texans defense is supposed to be this team’s strength, but it was anything but on Saturday.
2. Discipline has a long way to go
13 penalties taken for 126 yards? Many guys in preseason are fighting for NFL careers, yet many of them didn’t have discipline in this game.
Cornerback Brandon Harris took a terrible pass interference penalty that costed the Texans 9 yards that accommodated a Cardinals touchdown a few plays later to go up 14-0.
That was one of the many terrible penalties Houston took, and if they don’t find a way to clean up their act on the field, then they won’t win football games. Clean and simple.
1. Quarterback problems are as bad as last year
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a lot of bad moments with the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans, but he looked really bad out there. He completed just six passes for 55 yards without a touchdown pass.
Case Keenum came in and completed three passes for 29 yards.
Rookie quarterback Tom Savage came in and completed two passes for 14 yards while being sacked twice. So the Texans quarterbacks combined for 11 passes for 82 yards and no points scored.
There’s no other way to put it: It was an embarrassing way to perform. If these guys could not produce in any way in preseason, imagine how bad it will be when they play legit NFL starters in the regular season.