How did the rookies of the Houston Texans play in the Week 1 tie against the Indianapolis Colts?
We will release weekly reports on how the rookies played in their most recent game with the Houston Texans. The draft class is impressive on paper, but how good can they be each week? We will break down what they did well and what they must improve.
Week 1 against the Colts
Dameon Pierce – Running Back
To say that was the debut we saw coming is far from the truth. Texans fans were eager to see their potential running back of the future in action, but we were disappointed. Pierce had 33 rushing yards on 11 carries, and this is stunning after what we saw preseason and in camp.
It seems like the Texans didn’t fully trust Pierce in his regular season debut, while it does appear that he is a workhorse back who needs a significant amount of carries.
The offensive line struggled, and veteran Rex Burkhead was used more in the passing game than Pierce. Hopefully, Houston can use Pierce more in Week 2, because it is essential to get the starting back more carries instead of using the RB2 who will be a backup for the long term.
Derek Stingley Jr. – Cornerback
The third overall pick seems to be as good as the Texans anticipated. “Sting” had three tackles and four assists. A big mistake was late in the fourth quarter allowing Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. to make a crucial catch for the first down.
Besides that, Stingley almost lost Alec Pierce in the end zone, but it did not result in a touchdown. Stingley did some great things as he had one of the most impressive plays of the entire game. In the Texans’ end zone, the rookie cornerback tipped a potential touchdown pass by Matt Ryan, but Stingley was there to bat it to the ground to stop the score. He had some fantastic assisted tackles and solos, and that’s great to see in his first NFL regular season game.
Stingley was not afraid and seemed to have adjusted to the pros quickly. We hope to see more man coverage to view more of his skills, but only time will tell if we see that happen.
Jalen Pitre – Safety
Safety Jalen Pitre had a more challenging outing than anticipated. Pitre’s performance was a little underwhelming, but going against the number one running back in the league — Jonathan Taylor — and that can explain some things.
The entire defense struggled the longer the game went on. The first three quarters looked decent, but it was evident that Taylor ran the defense into exhaustion. The rookie Pitre had a serious hit on a wide receiver for targeting, but it looked accidental. Overall, Pitre will improve in the coming weeks.
Kenyon Green – Offensive Line
The Texans are slowly bringing in Kenyon Green. It is difficult to say whether Green played great or poorly, but he looked solid with not many mistakes but only received 38 snaps. We will have to look at more games to understand his impact and play on the field entirely. According to head coach Lovie Smith Green will play more snaps this coming week.