Vandermeer’s View: Learning at Lambeau

This one was a depth-tester. The Texans began their game against the Packers without many of their starters, but still found out some important things about their team as they came away with a 28-26 loss.

Joe Webb III played the entire game and made some big plays, throwing for 286 yards and a touchdown. Webb kept the team moving all night long. Yes, two interceptions didn’t help the cause, but he played the whole way, kept plays alive with his mobility and gave the team a chance to win. Sound familiar?

The running game earned 138 yards, helped by rookies Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett, who each showed flashes of being able to aid the attack. The young receivers all seemed to make plays and put plenty of material ‘on tape’ to learn from.

Defensively, it was a bit of a mixed bag. One Packer score came via special teams and another on point blank range following Webb’s second pick. Even that one was penalty aided and took seven downs to punch in.

The coaches will likely not be happy about Green Bay converting two 3rd-and-medium/long situations and getting a TD pass thrown on 3rd-and-4. But there was a lot of good stuff too.

The Texans held Green Bay to 38 rushing yards in the first half, at 2.9 per carry. Dexter Williams did show some pop. But he got the majority of his yards on one fourth-quarter drive.

Houston outgained the home team 412 yards to 237. It was good to see the ball keep moving as the Texans went through every layer of the offensive depth chart.

The offensive line got plenty of work and has plenty to work on. But it was a good first walk around the block. Tytus Howard got time at guard and tackle. Max Scharping came in at tackle after Zach Fulton moved to center, with Greg Mancz getting injured.

They helped pave the way for 93 first half rushing yards on four per carry for the backs. Webb’s scrambles inflated the total to 5.5 yards per carry. It was a solid debut in a preseason context.

Overall, it was an entertaining evening and a journey through the 90 man roster.

Next week, all three phases look to take another step as they get two days of practice and a game with the Lions. Opening night is four weeks from Monday. Time will move quickly now that there’s a game every week.

Houston Texans take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field for the first game of the 2019 NFL Preseason.

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