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Texans Tackle Second Win in Preseason Week Two

A thrilling Saturday night victory brings another set of takeaways. Is the Texans team we’ve watched the last two weeks good enough to increase their win total next season?

Ramming Through to Victory

Although the first half seemed to lend its momentum to the LA Rams, the Texans rallied shortly before the half to put themselves on the board and never looked back. With a hard-nosed running style, spectacular jump balls, and more starters on the field–we have a lot to look into for this week’s pre-season takeaways. So let’s dive right in!

One: Nice Catch, Nico Collins

In the absence of Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins showed that he and Davis Mills have been building a strong connection during camp (which aligns with reports from this off-season). On every first down situation, Mills first read was to #12, who ended the night with four catches for 48 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown, in the most spectacular way possible, was an electrifying jump ball that Collins ripped down with a DB draped on his back. With so much hype looming over the second year starter (perhaps too much), fans can only wait and see how the connection continues to develop and is affected by Brandin Cooks’ presence.

NICO COLLINS IS TOO STRONG. 💪 @lbg_nico7 📺: #HOUvsLAR on @NFLNetwork 📱: Stream on NFL+ — NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2022

Two: The Debut of Derek Stingley

A lot of Texans fans have been waiting for the appearance of the number three overall pick, Derek Stingely Jr. from LSU. Stingley had one of the most dominant seasons of any cornerback in college, and the Texans are hoping that he can reclaim that level of success for their secondary. It’s hard to know exactly how his night went, with a mix of zone and man looks being shown throughout his portion of the game. Stingley did notch several tackles and had a wonderful PBU in his first live-action game since college, but he did appear to still be shaking off some rust from time away due to injury. He was also spotted talking with Jalen Ramsey after the game, which can bring nothing but good things for the young star.

The rookie and the vet.@jalenramsey | @stingjr — NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2022

Three: Stacking Sacks

Perhaps you are a faithful reader from last week and remember how we talked about how deep the defensive line was. Well that hasn’t changed, and it showed in every possible way on Friday night. The Texans sacked the quarterback a staggering SIX times against the Rams. Of our faithful defenders, Christian Kirksey, Demone Harris, Jon Greenard (one of our favorite budding superstars), Roy Lopez, Grayland Arnold, and Derek Rivers all found ways to put fear into their respective Rams QBs. With such a diverse group of pass rushers available, we will hope to see this trend bleed over into the 2022 season as well.

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Four: Money Mills?

Some would argue that Davis Mills is the future of the franchise (and give him cool nicknames like Dougie Mills, Money Mills, Major Mills, etc.), while others will never be content with a performance that doesn’t end in a winning season. Whatever your personal opinion of the Houston Texans starting QB is, you do have to come to grips with the fact that he is, in fact, the starting quaterback. Mills ended the second preseason game at 10/17 for 96 yards and one lone touchdown, far from electrifying numbers. The main solace for fans is that he was without his main pass-catching threat and he looked much better targeting his projected starters than he did the depth receivers. With some big-name quarterbacks looming on the 2023 draft horizons, Davis Mills is hoping to use this season to show why he deserves to helm this team in the future.

Five: Run Game Blues

Some notable developments might be noticed from the run game situation on Friday. Namely, that Dameon Pierce was held out of the contest while the initial projected starter, Marlon Mack, played a significant amount of snaps. While this could be interpreted any myriad of ways, the notable takeaway is that Pierce was not held out for any disciplinary or health reasons. With a strong performance behind him in preseason week one, it doesn’t look like Lovie Smith or Nick Caserio saw any reason to risk the rookie on Friday. With that said, the participating runningbacks served a functional role…just not in a spectacular fashion. Royce Freeman led the team with 30 yards on nine carries, Marlon Mack finished with 29 yards on eight carries, and Dare Ogunbowale ended with 27 yards on six carries. With a struggle around this position for the last several years, Texans fans are hoping to see a dominant rusher emerge to end the backfield superstar drought in Hosuton.

Overall Thoughts

The preseason is such a unique time, because so much can be overblown, overanalyzed, and overhyped to the point of insignificance. The main focus of these games should be that the Texans have to trim the roster down again, from 85 to 80 players, before the game against the 49ers on this Thursday. Mix that with real in-game scenarios, some mechanic refreshes, and a chance to play against anything other than their own defense and the Texans aren’t focused on their obvious starters having the game of their life. They’re analyzing young talent and building a competitve roster to withstand the rigors of the season ahead. That’s all from me, so aside from my notable standouts (listed below), I’ll see you after Thursday night’s game against San Francisco!

Notable Standouts

  1. Grayland Arnold (CB)

  2. Kurt Hinish (DT)

  3. Derek Rivers (DE)

  4. Philip Dorsett (WR)

  5. Nico Collins (WR)

  6. Teagin Quitoriano (TE)

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