Aug 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Now the practice is over, preseason 2014 is in the books. Your Houston Texans started and ended on low notes, but in between there are signs of good things to come. Let’s get this painful wrap up of the preseason in books shall we? A 40-13 hot mess with neither Case Keenum nor Tom Savage impressing. Keenum had an interception that was either a bad throw on his part of DeVier Posey was completely out of place. Savage was picked off on a short dump pass crossing to the outside which was taken all the way to the end zone. A concern this preseason is the lack of any real deep passing. The few times it’s been tried have not succeeded. Is O’Brien working on his bread and butter short and fast passing attack or this what to expect in 2014?
For tonight though, there was the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The special teams were, up until that late 4th quarter blocked punt, impressive in both kick off and punt coverage. After years of, meh special teams play it’s nice to see some real change out there for the Texans. Shilo Keo was a big part of that special teams action always flying down the field and being part of the success. Good to see. Whitney Mercilus, last years first round draft pick and now backing up Jadeveon Clowney sacked Blaine Gabbert, had some great stops in the backfield and over all seemed to really have a fire lit under him today.
Another positive was rookie Andre Hal pulling off another pick 6. That’s not bad for a rookie, though he was later beat deep. Over all good though. I liked what I saw. Randy Bullock continued to show that there really wasn’t any real threat to his spot as the kicker for the team nailing a 52 yard field goal. Whatever problems he had early last season he’s showing for now, that’s behind him. Travis Labhart’s stock rose further tonight making the Texans have to seriously consider carrying six receivers moving forward.
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Quarterback play was mixed, with good mobility and flashes of brilliance topped off with poor decisions and missed routes. How much of that was the quarterback and how much was the receiver is anyone’s guess. I still expect Keenum to be the designated back up for Fitzpatrick as the season kicks off. Open field tackling. Perfect example was Eddie Pleasent, he could have stopped a touchdown however he was out of position and tried for a one handed grab tackle. It just doesn’t work well.
Final score… 40 to 13. Yeah, after last season seeing the Texans trounced is painfully too familiar. Yes I know, preseason and all however the lack of overall depth was evident as the fourth quarter dragged on with the 49er’s players looking hungry and the Texans lower tier players looking like zombies just going through the motions. That sort of mental and effort collapse cannot make Bill O’Brien happy. Not at all. Tomorrow is sit down and make hard choices, by 4pm EST on Saturday the roster will be a mere 53 players. Lot’s of soon to be unemployed Texans were playing in that fourth quarter. But hey, that’s what game four of the preseason is all about. Ya’ll ready for some real football? I know I am.
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