Ryan Mallett "better", as Texans top Bucs

Last Monday night, Bill O'Brien said "the more he plays, the better he'll get" when asked about Ryan Mallett. The fifth-year quarterback and the Texans beat the Buccaneers on Sunday, and the head coach echoed his sentiments about Mallett after the win.

"I thought it was better," O'Brien said. "I think he's a tough-minded guy. I think the more he plays, the better he'll get. I think he understood how we wanted to manage the game better today."

Mallett threw 228 yards and a touchdown, and was picked off once. He completed 24 of his 39 pass

attempts, and led the Texans offense on six drives of nine plays or more.

"Throughout my career, high school, college, whatever, I always feel better the more I play, the more comfortable I get," Mallett said. "Hopefully that'll continue."

Mallett connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 5-yard scoring strike in the first quarter, and Hopkins finished with eight catches on the day for 101 yards. The two have a good chemistry together, but it's not just on game day.

"This is why we practice," Hopkins said. "We do a lot of stuff outside of just the practice field, working

after practice on that timing and seeing things that the defense is doing to make last minute adjustments and it showed today."

The solid showing by Mallett impressed a former teammate as well. Tampa Bay safety D.J. Swearinger praised the quarterback's performance, and thinks Mallett is better in 2015 than he was in 2014.

"Most definitely, most definitely," Swearinger said. "This year he's more comfortable in the pocket. He's controlling the offense and made plays when the seconds were low on the play clock. So, he did a great job of that."

Mallett and the Texans will go through some light work on Monday, have Tuesday off, and then practice at the Houston Methodist Training Center from Wednesday through Friday. They'll travel to Atlanta on Saturday, and face the Falcons on Sunday.

View photos from Sunday's Texans-Buccaneers game at NRG Stadium.

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