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Texans take down Cardinals, 34-24

The Texans defeated the Arizona Cardinals in a 34-24 preseason victory at NRG Stadium.

Houston's offense took a commanding 31-10 lead into  halftime. The 31 points marked a franchise record for the most points scored in a preseason half.

Brock Osweiler completed 11-of-13 passes for 146 yards, throwing a touchdown and no interceptions. The Texans starting quarterback compiled a passer rating of 139.1. Osweiler played four series, scoring on three before he exited the game late in the second quarter. Will Fuller led all receivers with three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.

"If you look at the receivers I'm able to throw to, those guys are very special, they're all very dynamic, they get open," Osweiler said in an interview with Texans Radio during the game. "The offensive line did a tremendous job of giving me time, and then Tyler Ervin picked up a STAR blitz one time on that two-minute drive. Those other ten guys really make my job easy."

The Texans defense scored a touchdown and forced five turnovers on the day. Arizona Cardinals starter Carson Palmer was 5-of-9 for 64 yards and two interceptions and a passer rating of 38.4.

The Texans offense took over after Andre Hal intercepted Palmer on the Cardinals opening drive. Osweiler connected with Braxton Miller on back-to-back plays on the drive, which ended in a one-yard touchdown run by Lamar Miller.

The Cardinals scored on a three-yard touchdown run by David Johnson on their ensuing drive. Nick Novak, who cleared the NFL concussion protocol earlier this week, added a 44-yard field goal after a nine-play, 49-yard drive to extend the Texans lead.

Palmer's second interception of the day resulted in six more points for Houston. Outside linebacker John Simon scored his second touchdown of the preseason after he tipped a pass from Palmer to himself and returned it 59 yards for the score.

The Cardinals lone score in the second quarter was a 38-yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, rookie Tyler Ervin's 58-yard return gave the Texans possession at the Arizona 45-yard line. Osweiler took advantage of the short field. His 26-yard touchdown pass to Fuller gave the Texans a 24-0 lead.

Tom Savage entered the game on the next drive, with just under two minutes remaining in the first half. Savage orchestrated a six-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in a 17-yard touchdown catch by Jaelen Strong. Savage was 4-of-11 for 75 yards, one touchdown, and a 91.1 passer rating.

In the second half, the Cardinals scored 14 unanswered points on their first three drives. Matt Barkley threw touchdown passes to wide receivers Jaxon Shipley and to Brittan Golden. Linebacker Brennan Scarlett's sack on Barkley forced a fumble deep in Arizona territory, while defensive end Joel Heath recovered. Cornerback Terrence Mitchell and linebacker Shakeel Rashad each intercepted Barkley.

Brandon Weeden took over under center with 7:05 left in the fourth quarter. Weeden orchestrated the Texans lone scoring drive in the second half, leading to Novak's 42-yard field goal.

The Texans improve to 3-0 and close out their 2016 preseason at AT&T Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys.

Check out the best photos during #TexansGameday vs. the Cardinals.

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