Since he was hired in late January, Head Coach David Culley has stressed the importance of ball security on offense and getting takeaways on defense.
Saturday night in the preseason finale against the Buccaneers, the Texans succeeded in the latter category and came up short in the former.
Houston lost, 23-16, to the Buccaneers at NRG Stadium. The Texans were able to come up with three more takeaways, but they tossed a trio of interceptions and lost a pair of fumbles.
"The first priority on offense is to not give up the ball," Culley said. "We gave it up, way too many times. One is too many."
The first turnover came in the middle of the second quarter, with the Texans trailing 13-0. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was stripped as he moved in the pocket and the Buccaneers came up with the ball. Rookie Quarterback Davis Mills was picked off three times, twice in the second quarter and once near the end of the contest. Mills was also stripped in the fourth and Tampa Bay recovered the fumble.
"We did some good things out there," Taylor said. "We just shot ourselves in the foot and didn't give ourselves the best opportunity to be successful in this game."
Coming into Saturday night, the Texans had given the ball away just once in the first two games.
"That was very disappointing," Culley said. "That was something we'd been doing a good job of until tonight."
Taylor, who completed 6-of-9 passes for 31 yards, is optimistic about where the offense is headed on the whole. But he was disappointed with the turnovers against Tampa Bay.
"Turning the ball over is not a recipe for winning in this league," Taylor said. "That starts at the quarterback position. I can be better, first and foremost, but we can be better as a unit."
The Texans will open their 2021 regular season at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, September 12. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CDT on CBS and SportsRadio 610. For tickets, click here.