Sure there's plenty on the to-do list for the Texans before they start the regular season. But there was a lot to like about their 16-9 win over the Saints in their second preseason tilt and first at home.
Brock Osweiler found some rhythm on his way to a 124 yard night, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller. Lamar Miller may have only had 16 yards but showed nice lateral quickness and vision between the tackles. Fuller 'broke out' with four grabs for 73 yards while fellow rookie Braxton Miller added three more receptions to his preseason resume.
It was hardly perfect but there were flashes of what the offense could look like when it gets rolling. It was like getting a spoonful here and there of what should be a great meal when it's cooked.
We saw Fuller, Miller and DeAndre Hopkins on a handful of snaps that could be a preview of what you'll get when the games-that-count begin in three weeks. And Jaelen Strong is having a solid camp, helping make the case that this is perhaps the most top-to-bottom talent in the position group that the franchise has ever seen.
It's notable that the offensive line helped pave the way for over 200 first half total yards without four 'would be' starters. Osweiler was sacked once but the boys up front did a more than respectable job against a defense featuring Cameron Jordan, one of the better pass rushers in the league.
Speaking of pass rush, Christian Covington continues to mature as a player. He had a sack and was hard not to notice. And Jadeveon Clowney sacked Drew Brees and sounded the alarm that this might be an eye-opening year for him.
Andre Ware pointed out on the Texans Radio post game show that when J.J. Watt gets back, the pass rush should be ferocious with Clowney, Covington and Whitney Mercilus wreaking havoc in opposing backfields.
Preseason games are tough to evaluate because of the lack of game planning. But it's certainly worth highlighting that the all layers of the defensive depth chart have collectively only given up just one touchdown through two contests.
Now that the Saints are leaving town, the Texans have a week to get ready for the Arizona Cardinals, easily their toughest test of August. This has been a busy nine-day period that featured two games and two days of padded practices against NFL teams. The Texans probably engaged in well over 600 full padded snaps, all told, and have gotten some valuable experience. But next week they'll move on from playoff-hopeful teams to a true Super Bowl contender in the Cardinals.
Check out the best photos throughout #TexansGameday vs. the Saints.