The youngsters came out to play against the Denver Broncos. The Houston Texans needed all the help they could get against a shockingly stout Broncos defense, who held C.J. Stroud to under 300 yards and just one touchdown on the day. The loss of Tank Dell didn't help things, but had the Texans have been smarter with how they ran the ball, they may have kept the Broncos on their toes all day, instead of being able to stop a lot of what the Texans threw at them.
Instead, the Texans needed to rely on 2022 No. 3 overall pick Derek Stingley Jr. and 2023 No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson Jr.
Stingley was able to pick off Russell Wilson twice during the game while racking up an impressive four pass deflections. Stingley was all over the Broncos' wide receivers and was a key asset in why Broncos quarterback Wilson looked so awful today.
But he wasn't alone, as Anderson also had a pretty impressive day for the Texans. The rookie defensive player had five tackles (3 solos), two of which were for a loss, a pass deflection of his own, four quarterback hits, and two sacks. It's easily his best overall game as a pro and a sign that the Texans may have picked the right guy in the draft.
Considering Anderson, while good against the run all year, had yet to have a big game where he terrorized the quarterback, a game like this was needed. A game like this was also needed for Stingley, who many people are considering to be the wrong guy taken in the '22 NFL Draft, as the very next pick was Sauce Gardner, the New York Jets all-world cornerback.
Having games like this for Stingley will help put to rest any concerns about if Stingley was the right pick. If he can have more games like this, then the answer will be that they got the right man in 2022.