Houston Texans Preseason Review
By Emin Avakian
To state the obvious, wins and losses do not matter in the preseason.
In past seasons, teams that have gone winless in the meaningless contests have seen success in the regular season. And the same has proven true inversely, as undefeated teams in preseason play have struggled when the games really count and have missed the posteason.
Having said that, it's safe to say that the Houston Texans are pleased with their 3-1 preseason campaign and it's also safe to say that they would be less pleased with, say, a 1-3 record.
The Texans capped off exhibition play with a win over the Dallas Cowboys, last Thursday night--seven days prior to the kickoff of the 2013-2014 NFL season.
Most of the regular starters watched from the sidelines, while quarterbacks Case Keenum and TJ Yates led the offense in the 24-6 victory.
Similar to the three previous games, head coach Gary Kubiak played his veterans- including Matt Schaub and Arian Foster- limited minutes, and allowed for the younger, inexperienced players to get some reps in and make a case for themselves as the rosters decrease to 53 players.
Some notable players did just that, and should be confident in their fates. Lestar Jean's three touchdown receptions and 177 total yards will surely solidify a spot in Houston's unproven passing game after Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels. Garrett Graham's 12 receptions and Ryan Griffin's team-high 14 receptions were also highlights of the explosive Texans offense.
Cierre Wood, Dennis Johnson and Deji Karim each carried the ball more than 20 times and will battle for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Ben Tate and Foster, who didn't play in the preseason but will suit up for the season opener against the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.
On defense, Mike Mohamed led the team with 14 tackles. Trevardo Williams paced the team in sacks with 3.5.
The defense overall stepped up against the Cowboys, giving up a preseason-low six points after allowing 20.3 points through the first three games to the Vikings, Dolphins and Saints, who put up 31 against the Texans defense in their only loss.
Coach Kubiak can only hope that all the work in the offseason will translate into good play on the field and result in wins for a team with high expectations.