Rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had 52-yards and a touchdown, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates combined for 276-yards and a couple of scores, and eventually, the Texans rolled away with a 27-13 win over the Vikings on Friday night.
Just about everyone who had an impressive start to training camp showed their worth down in Minnesota. Wade Phillips’ young defense held the Vikings to 296 total yards, and even though the game was tied heading into the fourth quarter, the Texans’ passing game looked pretty potent when driving down the field to score on a bootleg pass from Keenum to third year wide receiver Lestar Jean giving Houston the go ahead.
Of course, the Texans defense didn’t face Adrian Peterson, but they did manage to force an interception from Christian Ponder, who stepped in for a total of two plays. Vikings backup Matt Cassel found the Texans defense again later on in the first quarter, where he was picked off by safety Eddie Pleasant.
Phillips also has to be happy with defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who notched two sacks. McClain failed to start in any games for the team last year after coming over from New England, and is still fighting for a spot in camp.
Offensively though, the story of the night was of course all about Hopkins. T.J. Yates launched a deep fade pass to the corner of the endzone early in the second quarter, and Hopkins went up high to reel it in. His athleticism has been on show all offseason, so it’s even more safe to say that Hopkins will be a starter come Week 1.
There was also a lot to say about the Texans’ backup quarterbacks, and how strong the competition is (and probably will remain) between Yates and Keenum. Keenum missed only five throws out of his attempted 18, and Yates also looked sharp making 13 of 21.
Perhaps the only downfall of the Texans night was when field goal kicker Randy Bullcock missed a kick late in the second quarter. Still, even though there is no wind inside Mall of America Field, it was a 54-yard attempt, and since it’s the preseason, I’m willing to let him off for that one.
The Texans now prepare for their first home game of the preseason against the Dolphins next Saturday night. For all of the praise Phillips’ defense might receive, they did allow 54-yards to rookie wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson, and may have been lucky not to face Greg Jennings at all.
Ryan Tannehill threw for 74-yards and a score in a win over the Jaguars on Friday night, but the Dolphins offense looked ugly in the Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys. It’s probably hard to predict what kind of team the Texans will face next weekend in Houston.