After a long off season the NFL has returned and the preseason is now in full swing for every team I’m the league. The Texans opened up their campaign against 1 of the 4 teams that actually beat them last season in the Vikings. There was plenty to watch for during the game. Whether it was the battle at RB to determine who’ll take the teams 3rd and final RB spot, or maybe you just wanted to see the Texans 1st rd pick WR DeAndre Hopkins in his first action as a pro, in which he didn’t disappoint. The Texans won the game 27-13 on Friday night against the Vikings to open up their preseason.
First thing first, QB Matt Schaub has been scrutinized all off season by analysts who say he’s got to step up this season for the Texans to be successful. He was limited to just one drive but was an efficient 5-5 for 34 yards, and led the Texans down field the drive which ended with a field goal. Schaub did this without All-Pro’s Arian Foster and Andre Johnson as they both sat on Friday.
Even with Schaub having decent outing on his one drive, the QB’s that shined the most were his backups. Both TJ Yates and Case Keenum had solid games against the Vikings. Yates finished with 151 yards passing, a TD, and a QB rating of 99.5 while Keenum had 125 yards passing, a TD, and a rating of 109.7. Both know either could end up being the backup for Schaub and are playing like they want it.
Rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins was as advertised as well during the game. He was drafted in the 1st rd to compliment Andre Johnson. Johnson who’s the franchises all time leading WR hasn’t ever really had a threat like Hopkins on the other side of the field since being drafted 11 years ago. On a deep ball thrown by TJ Yates Hopkins showed his big play and big catch ability when he went up and too a ball at it’s highest point from the Vikings defender. Hopkins had this to say about the play: “TJ put the ball where it needed to be. I came down with the play. I knew it was mam-to-man so I felt like I was going to get the ball. It felt great having my first preseason touchdown.”
With Arian Foster out Ben Tate got the start for the Texans. After Tate was done the battle for that 3rd RB spot started. Rookie RB’s Dennis Johnson and Cierre Wood both are working hard to show they deserve the spot. But on Friday night one did out play the other as Cierre Wood had a great game. He made the most of his 10 carries as he racked up 59 yards while Johnson got only 11 yards off his 7 carries. Wood looked more comfortable in the zone scheme and made nice moves to get himself some nice runs in the game. Wood looked to be a better downhill runner in this game, and gave himself the early advantage with his performance Friday night.
Without JJ Watt and Brian Cushing among others the defense was definitely short handed. But they still had a good showing only allowing 296 total yards for the game and getting 2 turnovers off INT’s from safeties Eddie Pleasant and Shiloh Keo. The linebackers looked good after having depth issues all last season it seems the signing of Joe Mays and finally having Darryl Sharpton healthy could solve the Texans problems. Sharpton and Mays were the starters at ILB on Friday and did a great job. Both are playing for the starting spot beside Brian Cushing, and both made really strong cases for themselves in the game.