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Houston Texans

LIVE game blog from Reliant Stadium

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 10:09 p.m.

With his fourth field goal of the game, kicker Kris Brown nailed a 25-yarder to win the game for the Texans and send the fans home happy. Final score: Houston 19, Denver 16.

Boyd led an impressive drive to close out the game. The Texans used up the final 5:50 of regulation on the 15-play, 54-yard drive, culminating with Brown's winning kick as time expired.

Quite an impressive showing from Brown in this game. After finishing last season 25-of-29 on field goals, including a perfect five-of-five from beyond 50 yards, Brown could be headed for his first-career Pro Bowl if he keeps this up.

Thanks for joining us in our first-ever live game blog on We'll have plenty of content after the game, so stay tuned to the site.

Until next time...

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 10:05 p.m.Injury update: reserve tackle Rashad Butler had to leave the game briefly on this drive after a collision in Houston territory. He returned to the field on the next play and has remained in action for the rest of the Texans' drive.

Butler could move into the swing tackle role (backup left and right tackle) with a strong preseason. Veteran Ephraim Salaam, who started the previous two seasons at left tackle and entered the preseason as the Texans' swing tackle, probably won't play until the regular season as he recovers from a knee injury.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:59 p.m.
Slaton just brought the Texans into the red zone with a 13-yard carry to the Denver 14. He used his speed to bounce outside to the left on the play. He couldn't quite get around the one defender he had to beat, but the defender (cornerback Lamont Reid) had good position on the play.

Slaton now has 39 yards on four carries (4.3 avg.). If he can find the end zone on this drive, you can be sure he'll be the talk of the town tomorrow morning.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:55 p.m.Shane Boyd's accuracy is still developing, but he clearly has athleticism the rest of the Texans' quarterbacks cannot boast.

From the Denver 38-yard line, Boyd scrambled to the right for a pickup of 11 yards. He now has four carries for 30 yards in the game.

That athleticism could give the Texans' defense a valuable look if Boyd were to make the squad as a practice squad player.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:50 p.m.To the delight of the fans still in attendance (by this blogger's guess, a little less than half of the seats in the stadium are full at this point), Slaton just returned a kickoff 39 yards up the middle of the field. It's apparent from the roar of the crowd how much anticipation the fans have for the decorated speedster out of West Virginia.

A Broncos field goal before Slaton's return evened the score at 16-16. The Texans are at midfield with a fresh set of downs after Slaton sprinted to the outside for a three-yard gain on third-and-one from the Houston 48-yard line.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:45 p.m.Rookie defensive tackle just stuffed former University of Houston running back Anthony Alridge for a three-yard loss at the Texans' 11-yard line.

The 6-5, 337-pound Okam has a unique combination of size and athleticism. If he can play consistently, those run-stuffing plays should become the norm and would be a huge asset to an increasingly talented Houston defensive line.

Not to be one-upped, rookie linebacker Xavier Adibi got between a pass from Broncos quarterback Darrell Hackney to running back Michael Pittman, batting the ball down for an incompletion.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:41 p.m.In this battle of zone blocking schemes, both teams have had success running the ball. On 26 carries, the Texans are averaging 4.2 yards a carry. Houston averaged 3.8 yards a carry last season.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are averaging 5.0 yards a carry on 25 rushing attempts.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:32 p.m.Steve Slaton's first carry as a Houston Texan came at the 13:20 mark of the fourth quarter. Slaton dashed for 10 yards on the carry, flashing the speed that has Texans coaches and fans hopeful that he can provide a big-play threat out of the backfield this season.

Slaton was the last of the Texans' running backs to get a carry in this game, following (in order) Ahman Green, Chris Taylor and Darius Walker. Chris Brown, bothered by back spasms all week, hasn't played and should see his first preseason action next week at New Orleans.

Slaton followed his 10-yard carry up with a four-yard run and a one-yard carry, then a two-yard reception in the left flat to lead to a Texans punt. The coaches have said they plan to use Slaton as a third-down back this season, but a big preseason by Slaton could change those plans and make him an even more integral part of the offense.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:30 p.m.
Kubiak has mentioned the possibility of keeping three quarterbacks on the roster this season. That means one of the two between Boyd and Brink will have to go, so this preseason action will be crucial for the young quarterbacks.

Boyd should know. His performance against the Texans as a member of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2007 preseason (9-of-15, 109 yards, one touchdown and one interception; five carries for 54 yards rushing) played a pivotal role in the Texans' decision to sign him when Schaub got banged up last season.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:16 p.m.Quarterback Shane Boyd entered the game on the second drive of the third quarter, sending Rosenfels back to the sidelines. In nearly two quarters of action, Rosenfels finished 10-of-15 for 137 yards and a touchdown, good for a 117.9 quarterback rating.

After turning down trade overtures for Rosenfels from other teams this offseason, the Texans have to feel great about their two-deep at the game's most important position. Schaub and Rosenfels showed tonight why the Texans might have the best one-two punch at quarterback in the NFL.

Boyd, showing his athleticism with three carries for 19 yards on his first drive, likely will take the rest of the snaps in this game. Kubiak said earlier this week that rookie quarterback Alex Brink, the seventh-round draft pick out of Washington State, will sit out this game but serve as the Texans' third quarterback against New Orleans on Aug. 16 at the Superdome. Kubiak plans to hold Boyd out of the Saints game.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 9:07 p.m.Another note from the first half:

The Texans' offensive line, which features two new starters in rookie left tackle Duane Brown and center Chris Myers, held its ground in the first half. Myers and Brown played for the entire first half and did not individually allow a sack. The only sack the Texans allowed in the first half came on a play on which Broncos cornerback Christian Morton came around the edge untouched due to what appeared to be a missed blocking assignment. While the Texans defense was on the field, offensive line coach John Benton was giving Brown plenty of instruction down on the sideline.

The ground game was far from perfect in the first two quarters, with Houston compiling 31 yards rushing on 11 carries (not including Turk's 15-yard dash on the fake punt). Keeping in mind that the Texans are cut blocking for the first time during this game as they've held off from it during practices, those numbers should improve as the team gets more battle-tested with the scheme during the preseason.

  • Nick ScurfieldSaturday, Aug. 9 - 9:02 p.m.Running back Darius Walker started the second half as the Texans' running back. Rookie Steve Slaton has yet to receive a carry, but he did return the opening kickoff of the second half 19 yards. Kubiak said this past week that he plans to give the elusive Slaton a look at both kick and punt returner during this preseason to see if he can become a weapon for the team behind kick returner Andre' Davis and punt returner Jacoby Jones.
  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:51 p.m.First-half musings:

  • Wide receiver David Anderson is having a huge game. In addition to his first-half touchdown reception, he already has two catches for first downs on the first drive of the second half. The Texans are unlikely to keep more than five wide receivers on the roster, and Anderson is is making a strong case to be the fifth behind Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Andre' Davis and Jacoby Jones.
  • Safety Nick Ferguson said earlier this week that he didn't necessarily think playing on the Broncos for five seasons would help him in this game, but maybe he was playing it close to the vest. Ferguson was in the right place at the right time when he made his first half interception. With a crowded competition for roster spots at safety during training camp, that big play could be a boon to Ferguson's case to make the team. He was a regular starter in the past three seasons in Denver.
  • A few days ago, Gary Kubiak named Jamar Fletcher as one of the surprise players of camp. He continued his strong play of late with his interception at the end of the first half, and has been impressive thus far in the game.
  • While it was discouragin to see Ahman Green leave the game after his first play, it's likely that the coaches were being extra cautious with him since it's the preseason. No sense in risking further injury in a meaningless game. Meanwhile, it's clear that Chris Taylor is feeling no ill effects from the knee injury that sidelined him in 2007. He came into the game in Green's stead and played the entire first half. Though he totaled only 19 yards on 10 carries, Taylor finished the half on a high note with a 10-yard run into the red zone right before Anderson's touchdown catch.
  • After an outstanding 2007 season, kicker Kris Brown is showing no signs of regression in 2008. In the third quarter, Brown already has scored 10 points. He's perfect field goals from 23, 52 and 23 yards.

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:30 p.m.The Texans end the half with an interception by cornerback Jamar Fletcher, who returned the ball for 34 yards.

The Texans lead 13-7.

  • Brooke Bentley

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:30 p.m.Chris Taylor didn't put his block and allowed cornerback Christian Morton to sack Rosenfels. Taylor recovered the fumble.

Several minutes later, punter Matt Turk took his turn as a ball carrier, rushing for 15 yards. The run was one yard short of a first down for the Texans. Denver got the ball at Houston's 49-yard line.

  • Brooke Bentley

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:24 p.m.Anderson again. He caught a 14-yard pass over the middle from Rosenfels. Anderson is doing his best Wes Welker impersonation this half.

  • Brooke Bentley

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:17 p.m.The Broncos are missing Jason Elam right now. Kicker Matt Prater just missed a 30-yard field goal.

The good news is the Texans' run defense held its ground when it counted.

  • Brooke Bentley
    Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:15 p.m.The Texans' run defense is getting tested. Tackle Anthony Maddox wasn't getting the job done, so he was taken out of the game. Rookie tackle Frank Okam replaced him.
  • Brooke Bentley
    Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:09 p.m.The interception helped to set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Rosenfels to Anderson. The best part of the whole play may have been Anderson's touchdown dance, which included a head butt and a couple of martial arts kicks.

Rosenfels has thrown a touchdown in nine consecutive preseason games.

  • Brooke Bentley

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 8:01 p.m.Former Denver Bronco Nick Ferguson picked off his old teammate Cutler. The quarterback was throwing to wideout Kreary Colbert.

-Brooke Bentley

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:58 p.m.52-yard field, no problem for Kris Brown. The problem for the Texans is getting to the end zone. The last two times the offense has put together drives, they ended up stalling in Denver territory and having to rely on a boot from Brown.

The scoring drive was 37 yards and lasted for 3:5.

PS. It's Brooke Bentley taking a turn at the blog.

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:48 p.m.Rosenfels' first play was a good one. He hit open fullback Vonta Leach on the left side for a 13-yard gain. Leach barrelled over hapless Broncos cornerback Karl Paymah on the play to gain an extra few yards.

The first quarter ended with Chris Taylor losing five yards on the ensuing play.The Texans will open the second quarter with a second-and-15 on their own 37-yard line.

Schaub's final stat line on his one drive: 4-of-5 passing for 29 yards and a 90.8 passer rating.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:44 p.m.On his first kickoff return of the season, Andre' Davis picked up where he left off in 2007 with a nice 24-yard return to the 29-yard line with 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Quarterback Sage Rosenfels just entered the game for Schaub.

- Nick Scurfield Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:41 p.m.On third-and-eight from the Texans 15, Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler scrambled down the left side of the field and into the end zone for a touchdown run.

Broncos 7, Texans 3.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:40 p.m.Cutler just missed on a pass to an open Daniel Graham in the end zone.

The Houston crowd is revving up, calling for a defensive stand. It's paying off - Denver tackle Ryan Harris just committed a false start to push the Broncos back five yards.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:37 p.m.The Broncos are marching down the field and have a first-and-10 in Texans territory on the 17-yard line. Houston native Selvin Young has accounted for a decent amount of the Broncos' offense on this drive with a nice seven-yard run and a couple of receptions. Quarterback Jay Cutler is spreading the ball around the field, hitting Young, Royal and wideout Brandon Marshall for big gains on this drive.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:32 p.m.So far, so good for the Texans' special teams. Joe Marciano's unit produced the Texans' first points of the game with Brown's field goal. In return coverage, they have stopped Denver rookie Eddie Royal - who played with Texans Duane Brown, Xavier Adibi and Brandon Frye at Virginia Tech - on the 20-yard line and 26-yard line on two returns.

Injury update: Broncos linebacker Louis Green has movement in his upper extremities. We'll have more updates on him throughout the game.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:27 p.m.Green was carted off the field to a nice roar from the Texans crowd. He suffered a neck injury and concussion and is being taken to a local hospital for examination.

After the injury timeout, the action resumed with just more than 8 minutes to go in the quarter.

Chris Taylor ripped off a couple of nice short runs, giving the Texans third-and-three from the five-yard line. Schaub then threw an incomplete pass to André Davis, who was being closely covered by a couple of Broncos defenders.

Kris Brown then nailed a 23-yard field goal to put the Texans' first points of the 2008 season on the board.

Texans 3, Broncos 0.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:21 p.m.Injury update: Texans running back Ahman Green suffered a strained groin on the Texans offense's first play from scrimmage. His return is questionable.

Broncos linebacker Boss Bailey has a sprained ankle. His return also is questionable. Linebacker Louis Green is being prepared to be carted off the field after a collision with his teammate D.J. Williams.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:19 p.m.The Texans are marching down the field behind a dialed-in Matt Schaub, who just completed a pass to Owen Daniels for a first down at the 12-yard line. Schaub hasn't missed on a pass yet.

For the running game story on, click here.

Broncos linebacker Louis Green is down on the field following the collision, forcing a stop in the action.

- Nick Scurfield Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:14 p.m.The Texans defense forced the Broncos to a three-and-out on the first drive. The big play of the drive was on second-and-10, when linebacker DeMeco Ryans (with an assist from defensive end Mario Williams) stopped Denver running back Selvin Young for a five-yard loss.

Jacoby Jones returned the Broncos' punt eight yards to the 43-yard line. On first-and-10, quarterback Matt Schaub completed a five-yard pass to running back Ahman Green. Green limped off the field and was replaced by Chris Taylor.

On the very next play, wide receiver André Davis ran a reverse 12 yards to give the Texans a first down on the Broncos' 39-yard line.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:08 p.m.
The Broncos won the toss and received. Rookie returner Eddie Royal brought the ball back to the 20-yard line, where he was tackled by Harry Williams.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 7:01 p.m.The offensive players just ran out of the tunnel. The stands aren't even full yet and the crowd is going nuts.

The entire starting defense, scheduled to be introduced individually, ran out as a unit in a sign of solidarity.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 6:56 p.m.
Melissa Saldivar, a civilian with the Houston Police Department public affairs office, just sang a nice rendition of the national anthem.

The Houston crowd is starting to fill up the stands. They gave a nice smattering of boos to the Broncos players as they ran on to the field.

Ten minutes to kickoff and counting.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 6:39 p.m.Starting lineup changes for the game:

Wide receiver André Davis starting in place of Andre Johnson

Center Casey Wiegmann starting in place of Tom Nalen
Defensive tackle Kenny Peterson starting in place of Dewayne Robertson
Cornerback Domonique Foxworth starting in place of Champ Bailey
Strong safety Marquand Manuel starting in place of Hamza Abdullah

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 6:32 p.m.
The **inactives for the game** for both the Texans and Broncos have been posted. Wide receiver Andre Johnson, tackle Ephraim Salaam and linebacker Chaun Thompson are among those not suiting up for the preseason opener.

For the Broncos, cornerback Champ Bailey and Tom Nalen headline the list of inactives.

  • Nick Scurfield

Saturday, Aug. 9 - 5:39 p.m.
I'll be writing a live game blog from Reliant Stadium tonight for the Texans' 2008 preseason opener vs. the Denver Broncos. I'll be blogging away for the entire first quarter when the majority of Texans starters are in the game, and then post periodic updates over the final three quarters.

Here are **five things to watch** in the game, including the debut of the zone blocking scheme and the much-anticpated first game for the Texans' rookie class.

The roof at Reliant Stadium **will be closed** for tonight's game.

To join Texans fans discussing every second of the game, check out the **official game thread in the Bull Pen** on the message boards.

Kickoff is less than an hour and a half away. I'll be back with the starting lineups, inactives and any other information as soon as it arrives.

  • Nick Scurfield
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