Houston (CBS Houston) – Jadeveon Clowney flashed his potential as the Texans defense shined early on Saturday night. Behind an improved offensive effort, the Texans picked up their first win of the preseason 32-7 over the Atlanta Falcons.
Romeo Crennel’s group forced a quick three and out on the Falcons first drive, followed by a 14-yard kick return by Keshawn Martin. The offense failed to capitalize though, going three and out themselves, leading to boos on the Texans first drive of their preseason home opener.
Their second drive provided some relief for Bill O’Brien as the Texans established their running game behind Alfred Blue. The rookie from LSU scored on the final play of a 12 play, 69-yard drive to give the Texans a 7-0 lead. Blue finished with 6 carries for 22-yards.
That’s when Jadeveon Clowney took over. On back to back plays he wowed NRG Stadium. First, he blew past the Falcons to level Antone Smith in the backfield. Then he sacked Matt Ryan on third down to force a Falcons punt.
With 14:47 to go in the second quarter, rookie Tom Savage entered the game at quarterback. Fitzpatrick left after going 4-6 with 33 yards. Savage looked good in his second NFL outing, going 3-4, but failed to put the Texans in scoring position.
Sean Renfree came in for Matt Ryan and the Falcons tied the game late in the second half with an 11 play 66-yard drive. Renfree hit Devin Hester for a 12-yard touchdown pass to cap off the drive.
On the next possession, Bill O’Brien sent Ryan Fitzpatrick back into the game to work in a two-minute situation. It proved to be a smart decision as Fitzpatrick finished 5-6 for 64 yards on the drive. He finished his night with a touchdown pass to DeVier Posey. Chris Boswell missed the extra point and the Texans entered the locker room with a 13-7 lead.
Case Keenum started the second half with a 58-yard drive leading to a 40-yard field goal from Randy Bullock. Keenum was intercepted in the fourth quarter by Kemal Ishmael at the two yard line and the Texans defense came up big and forced a three and out allowing only two yards. The Falcons were forced to punt from their own end zone and were able to deflect the kick. Johnathan Grimes scooped up the blocked punt and took it 17 yards for a touchdown, giving the Texans a 23-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Former Texan T.J. Yates took over the quarterbacking duties for the Falcons in the fourth quarter. He was intercepted by rookie Andre Hal. Hal returned the pass for a 64-yard touchdown. After another missed PAT by Boswell, Texans led 29-7.
On the next possession, undrafted rookie Max Bullough intercepted Yates. Tom Savage then returned at quarterback for the Texans, but the offense failed to get anything going.
Chris Boswell hit a 33-yard field goal to give the Texans a 32-7 lead.
The Texans did not play many of their stars coming off injury. Andre Johnson, Johnathan Joseph, Brian Cushing and Arian Foster all were inactive for the game. J.J. Watt suited up, but didn’t get on the field for the Texans.
The win was the first for the Texans since September 15th, 2013 when they beat the Tennessee Titans 30-24.
Latest Sports Stories:
[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]