The biggest takeaway from the Texans 24-13 win over San Francisco is that the first team offense never really got clicking but the seeds are there for some good things to happen.
Lamar Miller showed some burst including a 14-yard run on the first offensive play from scrimmage. C.J. Fiedorowicz later had a catch for a first down to open what he hopes is a productive pass catching season. But the first unit eventually left the field without a score.
Bill O'Brien said at the half on Texans Radio that he was playing it "close to the vest" and "running a lot of base offense" being the first preseason game. So Brock Osweiler, who was 4-7, never got into rhythm.
That's the frustrating thing about watching preseason football. If any unit or player is held to a 'pitch count' then you don't get the chance to see them work through the peaks and valleys and find a grove. Tom Savage got that opportunity, throwing 24 passes including two touchdowns as Houston played a decisive second half with many reserves making a case for employment.
Kenny Hilliard looked solid with 40 yards on 12 carries to complement Millier's 30 yards. Rick Smith told us on Texans Radio earlier in camp that Hilliard was much improved and he was really looking forward to seeing him in these games. Now we know why.
Braxton Miller showed up nicely with four catches. Josh Lenz had three catches for 52 yards on one drive. Fans might not have heard much about him but he's been making plays in camp and made a statement today that he shouldn't be overlooked when you are thinking about the final 53-man roster.
Savage took some big shots yet hung tough to find open receivers, including Stephen Anderson, catching a touchdown in his return to the area he grew up.
Defensively, the John Simon 'scoop and score' off the Christian Covington forced fumble was big. But, allowing over 200 rushing yards is undoubtedly something Bill O'Brien is not going to digest well this week, no matter who was or wasn't in the game.
The key thing is the Texans held San Francisco to just one touchdown and made plays when it mattered most.
Another unsung performer was Ka'imi Fairbairn, the rookie kicker who connected on a 45-yard field goal and hit his only extra point try, something that can't be taken for granted in this league anymore.
Game one is in the books and there is a lot to focus on, particularly on offense. Osweiler and the first team will get more reps in game two and plenty of good work on Thursday as the Saints visit for a long weekend. It's just the first step in a long journey. But a fun journey as it is once again unquestionably football time in Houston.
Take a look at the best pictures from the #Texans preseason opener against the 49ers.