Atlanta at Houston: postgame recap, Fitzmagic sized.
Aug 16, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) scrambles against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Fitzmagic is the word of the day in Houston tonight as the Texans leader stepped up and showed why Bill O’Brien believes in him. Smart play, good scrambles and a rare poor throw churned out a 1st quarter touch down drive. It was quite the display. After the first touchdown rookie Tom Savage stepped in and showed he has room to grow. Some poor decisions and hesitation while under light pressure. Later in the second quarter Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped in for a 2 minute drill and marched the Texans down the field for a touch down with seconds to spare on a scramble by Fitz hitting DeVair Posey in the back of the end zone.
There was of course, more to it then just Fitz out there playing his best football. Two running backs for a time, made us forget we don’t have Ben Tate and Arian Foster still has yet to see action this preseason. I am of course, speaking of Jonathon Grimes and Alfred Blue. Grimes started the game strong, showing he’s ready to go. Good, fluid running and hitting the holes hard. When Blue got his chance, the rookie from LSU really got the job done. Aside scoring his first NFL touchdown in the first quarter, Blue was putting on a show with his ability to barrel over the first defender to touch him.
On the other side of the ball, Jadeveon Clowney was doing his best impression of a sledgehammer flying into the backfield with a massive stop in the backfield. He then followed this up with a sweet sack of Matt Ryan. This was all without JJ Watt, who sat the game allowing the coaches a chance to evaluate more players against quality first string offense. DJ Swearinger showed decent coverage ability, but really put on a hitting clinic laying into ball carriers practically every play. While Atlanta did score a touchdown, that was all they could muster in the first half of play.
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The second half opened up with local favorite Case Keenum. He showed poise, made amazing throws on the run. He hit rookie Labhart, a former women’s basketball practice player in college on a pass down the sideline that was dead on perfect. This drive we saw a lot of flags against both sides. It took a few plays but Keenum really got in his groove. This drive ended with a field goal.
Keenum’s next drive ended on the 2 yard line with an interception on a pass that had Andre Johnson been the receiver might have been special. However, this was not the end of the story. Former Texans quarterback TJ Yates came in, pinned in the endzone for three plays the Falcons were forced to punt. A blocked punt was scooped up by Jonathon grimes for the Texans second touchdown.
This is getting to be a theme. A happy theme. The return team managed good returns, with Keshawn Martin making it past the twenty on kick off return and a punt return for 14 yards. A blocked punt, and oh a 53 yard field goal knocked down earlier in the 4th quarter. Texans, Special Teams playing special? This might be hard for Texans fans to handle, after years of painful play under the previous regime.
Overall, it was a great leap forward for the Texans. Solid play, a better idea of what the offense will actually play like and the defense, half manned continued their solid run defense and sharpened the pass defense. This was good stuff. As I write this number 38 Andre Hal, a 7th round pick out of Vanderbilt made a gorgeous interception that he strolled into the end zone for a touchdown. He wasn’t the only one to get a pic, linebacker Max Bullough sealed the TJ Yates return to NRG.
The Texans were hit with two, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties mostly for excessive celebration. I’m going to just say “Really, REALLY?” The No Fun League tried it’s best to hold the Texans celebration of their first win since week 2 of last season.
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