Preseason games are about getting better. They are also about measuring the depth of your team. The Texans tested that depth tonight and it looked like the organization is improving at all levels throughout the 90-man roster.
The Texans defense produced three big turnovers on the way to an entertaining 27-23 win over New England. We'll get to the Houston quarterbacks in a moment but it's notable to point out that multiple layers of the depth chart gave New England sports talk radio plenty to debate about their QB depth tonight.
The three Patriot turnovers were made by Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garapolo on strips by Ufomba Kamalu and Tony Washington Jr., and a pick by Denzel Rice. Andre Hal had an interception off Tom Brady taken away by replay. Yes, the Patriots put up 23 points. But the Texans made the big plays when they needed them most.
Offensively, it was a good night for Tom Savage who had a stratospheric quarterback rating of 149.1 after going 8-for-9 with a touchdown. Deshaun Watson threw only 10 passes on the night after tossing 25 last week. He did however have an excellent short completion to D'Onta Foreman who rumbled 63 yards which lead to a go-ahead score in the third quarter. Watson also ran for his second TD of the preseason.
Special teams had one big play by Chris Thompson on a pin-'em-deep tackle in punt coverage. But the cover teams sprung some leaks and it's something that Bill O'Brien and Larry Izzo know must be better when the games count.
This was a fun one as far as preseason games go. J.J. Watt had an early TFL to help put the brakes on a Patriot drive. Then he said good night. Savage looked sharp. He's 17-for-20 on the preseason. You wanted accuracy. You got it. The Patriots never looked overwhelming. You could point to Brady not playing much. But read what we just wrote about Watt.
This wraps up three 'meetings' with the Patriots in five days. The Texans are ultra familiar will their personnel. How that factors into the week three matchup remains to be seen.
Now it's on to New Orleans. The grind continues. More work against a prolific quarterback. More chances for this offense to gel. More opportunities to improve on special teams. The regular season starts in three weeks and there's still plenty to do. But things appear to be on the right track.