Brock Osweiler’s first drive as a member of the Houston Texans ended poorly.
With the Texans in field goal range, a forced throw from the Texans’ expensive new toy to DeAndre Hopkins landed in the arms of Bears’ cornerback Tracy Porter. Jay Cutler promptly marched his team down the field for a touchdown.
Will Fuller’s NFL debut didn’t start out great either. The first round pick out of Notre Dame caught Osweiler’s first pass to him, but with time winding down in the first half, Osweiler went to him deep down the middle. He dropped what could’ve been a touchdown.
The Texans punted, and Cutler again drove his team down the field and put the ball in the end zone, giving the Bears a 14-10 lead at halftime. Both recovered as they combined to help the Texans beat the Chicago Bears 23-14 Sunday at NRG Stadium.
“We stuck with the gameplan,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said.
Osweiler finished 22-of-35 for 231 yards and two touchdowns, the second going to Fuller with 12:44 left in the fourth quarter on a screen pass, with Fuller zig-zagging his way 18 yards into the endzone, giving the Texans a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
“I thought Brock made some throws that we had to have, which was really good to see,” O’Brien said.
“I think he’s got good poise. I think he’s very smart. I think he understands the game, so he understands the situation of where we are in the game, how the game is being played. He’s a calm guy on the sideline. It’s a decent start for him, now we have to turn the page after Monday and move on to Kansas City.
Fuller ended his first NFL game with five catches for 107 yards, and his biggest catch of the day might’ve been when he extended the Texans’ go-ahead drive with a 27-yard catch on third and two from his own 42-yard line.
“The one thing I know about Will, having known him awhile, he’s a very resilient guy,” O’Brien said. “He grew up in a great family, hard working parents. I’m sure they taught him sometimes you’re going to get knocked down, you’ve gotta be able to pick yourself up, and I think that’s something he does well.
“He’s not always perfect, but he practices hard, he’s done a good job of learning the game, and it’s just one game, now he’s gotta take it and build on it, and move to the next game.
Lamar Miller, also wearing a Texans’ uniform for the first time, ran for 106 yards on 28 rushes, and caught four Osweiler passes for 11 yards.
Next Sunday, the Texans will host a team that beat them twice last season, including a 30-0 playoff embarrassment. O’Brien is going to need his new guys in order to right last season’s wrongs.