Houston Texans: Five reasons to watch versus the 49ers

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Jun 12, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) talks with media after practices during OTA at Houston Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason is great because it means football is finally back! Yet, there are times when the games can be a little tough to watch as teams experiment with players at new positions, new play calls and formations, etc. The announcers of these games do nothing to help build excitement as they forget about the game being played and start interviewing anyone they can on the sidelines.

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Yet as a diehard fan there is always a reason to tune in and watch every snap for the team you cheer on. Tonight is no different for the Houston Texans faithful as the team hosts the San Francisco 49ers in Week One of the 2015 preseason.

While the outcome of the game itself is not important as far as winners and losers, there are significant reasons to tune in and watch tonight. Let’s jump right into the top five reasons to watch the Texans preseason premier.

Number 1 – The obvious reason

The first reason to tune in is simple when you are a Texans fan, it is time to see which quarterback looks better, Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer. Both players have history with head coach Bill O’Brien during their New England days, although Hoyer actually worked with him longer despite Malett being on Houston last season.

Hoyer comes to Houston after two seasons in Cleveland which saw him sidelined with a torn ACL and then benched for Johnny Manziel, Mr. Football himself. Hoyer was only reinserted after Johnny Football was injured.

In 17 games (16 starts) Hoyer totaled 3,941 yards 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. His completion percentage for his career is a very low 56.5% and he has 19 touchdowns and 19 picks in his career.

Hoyer has also bounced around some as he spent time with Pittsburgh and Arizona before landing in Cleveland. In order to sell the former Michigan State quarterback as a legitimate starter, the Texans need to see him play extremely well in the preseason to shake the label of “game manager” or “journeyman quarterback.”

On the flip side Ryan Mallett was a beast in college as he racked up 8,385 yards with 69 touchdowns to only 24 interceptions during his time in Arkansas and Michigan in college. After spending three years as the back up to Tom Brady for the Patriots, Mallet was sent to Houston last season.

His debut as a starter was against Hoyer and the Browns where he threw for 211 yards with 2 touchdowns and a pick. Mallett finished that game with a 95.3 quarterback rating. In contrast, Hoyer threw 330 yards with one pick and touchdown each, but did so while converting on only 40% of his passes and had a rating of 61.1.

Mallett was injured in the next game he played, and may have cost himself some by trying to fight through the injury. In tonight’s game look for Mallett to showcase his strong arm while also displaying a newfound touch on his passes.

Talent wise, it isn’t close between these two passers. Look to see if Mallett is able to put it all together, or if the poise and confidence of Hoyer continues to win coach O’Brien over.

Next: Who starts next to Hopkins?