Observations: Texans' win over Falcons

Observations: Texans' win over Falcons
August 16, 2014, 9:15 pm
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The Texans won a football game on Saturday night. It doesn’t really count for anything but it had been a really long while.

Here are some observations from the 32-7 win.

- Ryan Fitzpatrick looked much better than he did in the first preseason game. He completed 4-of-6 passes for 33 yards and also ran once for 10 yards and a first down. But more importantly, he made some good decisions with the ball and led the Texans on a 12-play 69-yard scoring drive. It was their first scoring drive of the preseason. That ended Fitzpatrick’s night.

Wait! What?

OK. Fitzpatrick came back into the game with under two minutes left in the first half to run the two-minute offense. He led the Texans on seven-play 74 yard drive. On the drive, he went 5-for-6 for 64 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown throw was a really solid throw across his body to DeVier Posey in the end zone. Earlier in the drive, he hit Keshawn Martin for a huge 31-yard gain down the sideline.

For the game, Fitzpatrick went 9-for-12 for 97 yards and a touchdown, with a 126.0 passer rating. He ran twice for 25 yards.

- Jadeveon Clowney continued to show why he was the No. 1 pick in the draft. On the second Atlanta drive, Clowney sped into the backfield to pop Antone Smith in the backfield. Then, he followed it up by cruising past left tackle Sam Baker and bringing down Matt Ryan for his first NFL sack.

- Jay Prosch, club on his left hand and all, was still punishing on Saturday night. He was brought into the Texans’ first-half scoring drive and created big holes for the running backs. He led the way on the last three carries to get into the end zone.

- Jonathan Grimes got the start and looked good in his second straight game. The thing about Grimes is that his legs never stop churning. A couple of times, it looked like the play wasn’t going anywhere and he made something happen.

- And Alfred Blue looked good once the Texans got close to the goal line. He could be used as the goal line back this season.

- C.J. Fiedorowicz got a lot of play with the first team and continues to look like he has a future as a serious pass-catching threat. Fitzpatrick drilled a couple balls to him in tight spaces and the rookie made nice catches. Fiedorowicz did miss a block in the first half, though.

- Kendrick Lewis might not be a great safety but he hasn’t done anything to lose his starting job. He made two really solid play in succession in the first half. First, he stepped in front of Roddy White to break up a pass and then he popped a running back.

- A.J. Bouye got beaten badly by Julio Jones in the first half but Jones couldn’t stay in bounds. Later, Bouye had a nice play when he broke up a pass.

- The Falcons’ first-quarter scoring drive was heavily aided by penalties. The Texans had four on the drive and three on consecutive plays. D.J. Swearinger was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for celebrating. The drive should have been over several times.

- Some of those penalties were deserved but the flags were out of control on Saturday night on both sides.

- Keshawn Martin did some nice things in the return game and on offense. For as disappointing as Martin has been at times with the Texans, he still has great speed.

- In the kicker battle, Randy Bullock helped himself and Chris Boswell didn’t. Bullock made a 40-yarder and Boswell missed two 33-yard PATs. Boswell did make a 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

- Heckuva play by undrafted tight end Anthony Denham. The rookie deflected a punt and then got back to lay a block to help Grimes get into the end zone.

- Case Keenum did some nice things. He hit Travis Labhart a few times and got Alec Lemon on a big first down slant.

- Texans special teams were solid on Saturday in all phases. They blocked a punt and a field goal.

- Rookie Andre Hal picked off a T.J. Yates pass and took it to the house for a pick-6.