Houston Texans defense looks special going into 2022 season
The Texans defense looks special, but how Good is the unit?
The Houston Texans have struggled defensively for many years, but the hiring of Lovie Smith to head coach looks to have turned things around starting last season when he was the defensive coordinator.
In the Texans’ final preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers they showed that this defense was not the same as in previous seasons, and that’s something to be excited about. The
Houston’s defense looked fantastic this preseason, but in their final outing, the Texans looked special. All the hype going into this game was on Trey Lance, the second-year quarterback for the 49ers. There are high expectations for the quarterback, but with all eyes on him, the Texans’ defense may have just spoiled that hype.
Lance finished the game with seven completions for 49 yards and looks nothing like what the preseason hype has been saying, but maybe the Texans’ defense is just that good?
The Texans’ rookies looked fantastic.
Jalen Pitre is undoubtedly the number one safety for the Texans. As the replacement for Justin Reid, is it too early to say it is an upgrade? Watching the game, it looked like Pitre was everywhere. He had four solo tackles and an assist and is looking to be a foundational piece if he continues to play like this.
Few players, like undrafted rookie Kurt Hinish from Notre Dame, affected the game in such an impressive way. Hinish disrupted the game repeatedly, earning himself a sack and three solo tackles. If he can continue to perform this way, we may see a massive steal for an undrafted rookie.
Derek Stingley may have had a quiet night, but that’s exactly what you want in a cornerback. When quarterbacks don’t target the receiver, the corner is doing his job very well, and that’s what third overall pick Stingley did. With a solo tackle and two assisted ones, Stingley did everything expected and will continue to grow when the competition increases and the regular season begins.
The Texans’ Veterans stepped up.
Coach Smith has such a great handle on this defense. The veterans clearly respect and follow the game plan because some showed out in a big way. Two veterans who stood beyond the rest were Derek Rivers and Jerry Hughes.
Both players looked great, stopping plays in the backfield and dominating the 49ers’ offensive line, so it was hard not to keep your eyes on them. Sadly, Rivers experienced a torn bicep and will now miss the season.
Steven Nelson looked to be the perfect partner across from Stingley with an incredible pass break up where Lance tried a deep ball to his favorite target, Deebo Samuel, but Nelson made a better play, and Samuel had no chance to catch it.
This Texans team differs from previous years. The defense is looking to become the identity of this team potentially. Can the Texans become Hou? Maybe, but it has only been preseason; we will have to wait until the regular season begins; if this production continues, this team will play well in the AFC South.