The Houston Texans hosted their first preseason home game last Sunday at Reliant and after it was all said and done they walked off the field with a 24-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins and raised their preseason record to 2-0. In this second preseason game, the starters saw alittle more playing time and the fans loudly welcomed back Brian Cushing to the team. This game had a lot of good moments but there were also some bad and even some ugly moments for the Texans.
The Texans’ passing game improved from last week and all three quarterbacks performed well. The receivers also stepped up. Both Lestar Jean and Keshawn Martin were much better against the Dolphins. They were obviously boosted by Andre Johnson playing. Defensively, Brian Cushing looked like he is healthy after he missed the majority of last season with a knee injury. He will only get better as he gains more confidence in running, cutting and hitting. D.J. Swearinger also bounced back from a subpar game. He made some good plays in coverage as well as in run support. He is playing a ton of snaps in hopes that he can be ready to start Week 1 if Ed Reed isn’t playing.
The first team offensive line didn’t look great against the Dolphins. They struggled to open up holes in the running game. On one drive, a negative screen pass which included a holding penalty that was declined and a quick sack forced the Texans to punt. The Texans’ first team defense also allowed Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins to have some success through the air. Tannehill averaged 9.4 yards per attempt. The Texans allowed Mike Wallace to have 3 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown on one drive. On the touchdown, there was a miscommunication between Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning as neither covered Wallace and they allowed him to catch the pass right in between them.
DeAndre Hopkins left the game in the first half with a concussion. The NFL is very strict on head injuries so he will need to pass every test before he can play again. Multiple concussions can derail a promising career, so hopefully this was Hopkins’ first and last concussion. The Texans also only forced one turnover and it wasn’t until the very end of the game. They had an easy opportunity gift-wrapped for them when Willie Jefferson hit the quarterback and caused the ball to float right to Justin Tuggle, but he dropped the routine interception. If he had caught it, the Texans would have had the ball in the Dolphins’ red zone. Once the regular season starts, plays like that need to be made.