The Houston Texans had a strong bounce-back week against the Atlanta Falcons after being wiped out against the Arizona Cardinals a week ago. With a big preseason win now in the books, let’s take a look at five things we learned from their 32-7 victory.
5. Jadeveon Clowney is a beast
Clowney, in his limited action, had to major plays which should have Texans fans excited for this season. He tackled running back Antone Smith just as he was receiving the ball for a loss of a couple yards. On the next play, he got past left tackle Sam Baker only to sack Matt Ryan for a loss of seven yards.
Clowney’s speed, strength and agility have not disappointed in the few reps he’s played so far, and Texans fans better get excited to see him for a full game during the regular season.
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked more like a starter
A week after completing just six passes for 55 yards with two interceptions, Fitzpatrick made a lot of folks in Houston believe that he was not the starter this team was looking for.
Fast forward a week later and he looked like a legitimate starter. He completed nine of 12 pass attempts for 97 yards and a touchdown and was not sacked nor did he turn the ball over once.
Can Fitzpatrick play the way he did on Saturday more during the regular season? That remains to be seen, but it’s nice that he didn’t flop a second straight game.
3. Third down defense was much better
After allowing the Cardinals to convert on 11-of-17 third downs just a week ago, the Texans defense did a much better job of getting off the field quicker. They only allowed three of 11 attempts to be converted, which gave the offense more time with the ball, and subsequently more points. It was an excellent outing by the Texans defense to say the least.
2. Special Teams shined
Aside from the fact that the Texans made both their field goal attempts, punter Shane Lechler was excellent when he had to punt away three times, which netted 151 total yards.
Also, Jonathan Grimes had a 17-yard punt return touchdown to give the Texans a 23-7 lead that helped ice the game. Every unit of special teams did its job for the Texans, which was critical in winning the game.
1. The secondary was excellent throughout
Aside from only allowing seven points, the Texans secondary did an excellent job in this one. They only allowed 15 total completed passes for 158 yards with four different quarterbacks, including Ryan, while getting two interceptions (including a pick-six from Andre Hal,) and a couple of sacks.
As previously mentioned, this defense was also able to get off the field very quickly, stopping the Falcons for the most part on third-downs. It was an overall much better outing by the secondary compared to last week.