The Texans defeated the New England Patriots 27-23 in their preseason home opener on Saturday night at NRG Stadium. The two teams scrimmaged against each other in two joint practices in West Virginia earlier this week.
Tom Savage, who started the game and played just two series, was 8-of-9 for 98 yards and a touchdown. Savage finished with a passer rating of 149.1. Deshaun Watson entered the game in the second quarter and was 3-of-10 for 102 yards and a rushing touchdown. Newly-signed wide receiver Bruce Ellington had a team-high four receptions and 93 yards receiving.
J.J. Watt played just one series, but recorded a tackle for loss on the drive. The Texans defense recorded four sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in the win. Cornerback Denzel Rice had the lone interception of the night, adding a 39-yard return after making the pick.
Houston took an early 7-0 lead on Savage's two-yard touchdown pass to Jaelen Strong. Tom Brady responded with a 22-yard pass to Rex Burkhead to even the score. Kickers Stephen Gostkowski and Kaimi Fairbairn each traded field goals from 38 and 31 yards, respectively, to tie the score at 10. Gostkowski added two more kicks from 51 and 42 yards to extend the Patriots lead to six points.
Deshaun Watson's two-yard touchdown run with 4:12 left in the third quarter capped off a 5-play, 75-yard drive. Two plays earlier, rookie D'Onta Foreman's 63-yard catch-and-run extended the drive to give the Texans possession at New England's four-yard line. The Texans punched it in to take a 17-16 lead.
Foreman scored the second rushing touchdown of the night with 11:00 left in the game. Foreman finished with 83 yards from scrimmage (17 rushing, 66 receiving).
The Texans travel to New Orleans for joint practice with the Saints followed by a preseason game on Saturday, August 26.