STOOTS ON TEXANS
11 observations from Houston Texans 24-20 win over Rams
The Houston Texans win again late in their second preseason game. Here are 11 observations from the game.
1. Derek Stingley made his preseason debut. There wasn’t much action in Stingley’s way, but he got beat early. The Rams would rechallenge him only for Stingley to make the correct read and showcase some of the closing speed he has shown off in practice.
2. It is ok to make a mistake if you are Derek Stingley. The nature of the cornerback spot requires the ability to bounce back. Stingley, he can’t make the same mistake very many times. He’s shown the ability to learn from the mistakes in practice and now in a small way in this game.
3. Davis Mills and the almost-first-team offense stunk. I don’t believe this unit scores a touchdown if there wasn’t a personal foul penalty that gifted them some yards.
4. Davis Mills took a totally unacceptable sack for him and this team. Mills saw a wide-open Chris Moore and ignored him to try to make a bigger play. Mills was caught from behind and sacked. Moore easily has a few yards and maybe more. It is first down, in the first quarter. Take the easy play and keep moving. This offense, and team, aren’t built well enough to pass up on easy yards.
5. Max Scharping didn’t play well. The left guard for this game let a Rams defender work him and blow past him to sack Mills and force a fumble. Later, Scharping got pushed around again. The goodwill he built in camp is gone for me.
6. Kenyon Green needs to get back in a hurry. And when Green is back, he needs to be good. Max Scharping nor Justin McCray are suitable full-time left guards for the Texans.
7. Nico Collins caught what I thought was a bad ball from Davis Mills for a touchdown. The involvement of Collins mirrored what usually is the Brandin Cooks role. It will be interesting to see how the team uses Collins when Cooks is playing.
8. Jonathan Greenard might be a menace for this defense. There were spin moves, bull rushes, physical plays, and just general ass-kicking from the defensive end. I am much more excited for his season than I was before this game.
9. Kurt Hinish and Thomas Booker should make this team over Ross Blacklock. Blacklock is inconsistent and hasn’t showcased what Hinish or Booker has in these preseason games. With Roy Lopez and Maliek Collins as the starters at defensive tackle, Hinish and Booker can hold down the backup spots. Again, I don’t believe Hinish would make it to the practice squad if cut.
10. There were a few blitzes that led to sacks. Lovie Smith didn’t blitz much last year, it will be interesting to see if with a deeper and more talented set of defenders he will employ a few more blitzes.
11. The preseason games conclude Thursday with the 49ers in Houston. Lovie Smith has hinted this will be the most starter-heavy game. Hopefully, it includes more than 15 plays of Derek Stingley and a lot more offense from the likely first team of the Texans.