The Houston Texans wrapped up their preseason with a 17-0 shutout against the San Francisco 49ers at home.
"Defensively, whenever you get a shut-out, that's big," Head Coach Lovie Smith said. "You've got to take the ball away. You've got to win that turnover ratio. So there's a lot of good things we did tonight."
Houston's offense put up 156 net yards rushing without OL starters Laremy Tunsil and Justin Britt suited up to play. Rookie OL Kenyon Green entered the game in relief to make his NFL debut and played until the fourth quarter. Marlon Mack rushed for a team-high 55 yards on 10 carries. Rookie Dameon Pierce added six rushes for 37 yards and touchdown on the opening drive. Davis Mills completed 6-of-10 passes for 58 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
"Yeah, when you have somebody running the ball like that and the offensive line blocking like that for him, we're consistently running the ball well downhill," Mills said. "It opens up a lot in the pass game but also just keeps the defense guessing. I mean, obviously we want to be a run-first football team, and with him back there, we're really confident doing that."
Three different quarterbacks saw action in the first half for the 49ers: Trey Lance, who played into the second quarter, completed 7-of-11 for 49 yards and a 73.7 rating. Backup Nate Sudfield and rookie Brock Purdy both played in the second half. Houston's defense recorded three sacks, nine tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, two interceptions, eight passes defensed and one forced fumble.
Pierce, the Texans fourth-round draft pick out of Florida, got the Texans off to an early lead after the first offensive series. Houston took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter after Pierce scored on a one-yard run capping an 11-play, 85-yard scoring drive.
In the third quarter, Mills tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to WR Chris Moore to give Houston a 14-0 lead before being replaced by backup Kyle Allen.
With Ka'imi Fairbairn dealing with a minor injury, the Texans signed K Matt Amendola on Thursday. The former New York Jet added two extra points and kicked a 45-yard field goal in the third quarter to extend Houston's lead to 17-0.
LB Jake Hansen picked off Purdy's pass and added an 18-yard return. Jeff Driskel entered the game with 6:40 left in the game.
With the victory, the Texans close out the preseason with a 3-0 record.
"We know we've got to start over, but we'd rather be 3-0 instead of 0-3 right now," Smith said. "So there's a lot of answers to some of the questions that we had. That's what we're going to be along. Tomorrow the guys are going to come in, we're going to watch the video, we're going to clean up what we need to and we're going to go from there."
Houston will open the 2022 regular season at home Sept. 11 against the Indianapolis Colts. Browse tickets.