The Texans moved to 2-0 on Saturday night with their 20-9 win over the San Francisco 49ers, a team who played for the NFC championship last year. It was another very encouraging performance from the squad. I took a look at some key numbers from the game to find out what the Texans did well and what they need to work on.
Matt Schaub’s completion percentage (11 of 14) for the game against one of the NFL’s best defenses. Schaub came out firing and looked good connecting on 20+ yard passes to Keshawn Martin and Andre Johnson. He also hit Lestar Jean on a crossing pattern for a 9 yard TD. If not for an easy drop by Owen Daniels, Schaub would have been 12 of 14, an 86% completion percentage.
The number of yards on Andre Johnson’s longest catch of the night. It was a classic play action bomb where Schaub throws it up and Andre makes a big play. After not seeing it near enough last year, it was a very encouraging sign seeing Schaub go downfield and Andre make a big play.
The number of turnovers the Texans had. If the Texans don’t turn the ball over, they are going to be pretty hard to beat.
The number of touchdowns Trindon Holliday has scored on returns so far this preseason. Last week it was a kickoff, and now this week a punt. He has accounted for 50% of the Texans’ touchdowns so far. Gary Kubiak was quoted saying that Holliday has to be more than a returner to make the team, but if he keeps scoring touchdowns it is going to be hard to keep him off the team.
Touchdowns the Texans have allowed so far this preseason after holding the 49ers to only 9 points on 3 field goals on Saturday. While the starters obviously haven’t played the whole game, the Texans’ defense has shut down arguably the NFL’s most dynamic young player in Cam Newton, and the offense of one of the few teams (49ers) often ranked ahead of the Texans in preseason power polls.
The number of rushing yards the Texans allowed. Overall, this number isn’t horrendous but the majority of it was allowed in the first half when the starters were in. The Texans’ defense is at its best when stonewalling the run so their pass rushers can pin their ears back and get after the QB. To accomplish this, the run defense needs to be shored up a bit.
The number of penalty yards the Texans gave up on 9 penalties. Again, I will give them an excuse as it could be jitters and excitement of the first home game, but they committed more penalties for more yards than in the first game. Barring injury, it’s the little things like penalties and turnovers that could hold the Texans back this year.
The number of turnovers the Texans forced. The Texans generate such a pass rush that they should have the opportunity to force fumbles and pick off errant passes each and every game. Against the 49ers, they didn’t capitalize. Glover Quin had a very routine interception fall through his hands. Plays like those need to be made.
While there were positives and negatives in Saturday nights' game, I again believe that the positives outweighed the negatives and led the Texans to another win. All in all, this game is just another building block on the Texans’ path to the playoffs.