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Texans Beat Saints: Did Rookie RB Dameon Pierce Just Win Starting Job?

Texans Rookie running back Dameon Pierce helped lead the Texans to a win in Game 1 of the preseason.

The Houston Texans welcomed the New Orleans Saints to NRG Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off the first preseason game of the 2022 season. It was also the debut of new Texans head coach Lovie Smith, who took over for David Culley following last season.

And luckily for Smith, things went according to plan, with the Texans taking down the Saints 17-13 with a late touchdown to move to 1-0 in the preseason. 

“Anytime you keep score,'' Smith said afterward, "you wanna win.''

Oh, and with the debut of a new running back who might just deserve to be a rookie starter. ... maybe Houston can win some more.

Texans quarterback Davis Mills looked solid in his limited action in the preseason opener, finishing the game 3-3 for 14 yards and an 86.1 quarterback rating. 

After Mills checked out of the game, it was backup quarterback Jeff Driskel who got the majority of snaps for the rest of the game. 

Driskel largely struggled throughout the night but showed up when it counted, leading the offense down and hitting Jaleel Johnson for a touchdown to give the Texans the winning score with 25 seconds to go. 

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However, rookie running back Dameon Pierce may have stolen the show for Houston, stealing the show with five rushes for 49 yards, with a long of 20, and averaging 9.8 yards per carry.

And coming off of back-to-back seasons in which they had arguably the worst rushing attack in the NFL, it was exactly the type of rushing performance that Texans fans everywhere had been desperate to see.

Now, they will hope to carry Pierce's momentum on the ground over to preseason Game 2 - and hopefully into the regular season.

Following the loss, the Texans will head to the West Coast, where they will take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams at So-Fi Stadium. The kickoff is set for 9 pm CT.


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