First Round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney had two explosive defensive plays back to back in the first quarter that set the defensive tone for Houston, as he dropped the running back in the backfield for a loss on a second down play and then sacked quarterback Matt Ryan on third down to force a punt.
Additionally, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who struggled mightily in Arizona just a week earlier, looked like he was beginning to get the offense down, and provided hope to desperate Texans’ fans who are hoping to see a miracle turnaround from last year’s pathetic 2-14 record.
First year head coach Bill O’Brien was asked his thoughts on the major improvement Fitzpatrick made from the previous week. “He did a good job. I feel like that’s how he has to play for us. I felt like he played smart; he was comfortable. We had three timeouts on that last drive. When you have three timeouts and over a minute to go in a drive, you can check the ball down the field. They may play a prevent type of coverage and if the back is open, just check it down and let the back gain 10 yards and keep going because you have timeouts. That is a good example of him understanding the situation and being comfortable with our offense. We’ve all got improvements to make, myself, him, (George) Godsey, everyone. I felt like he took a big step, especially relative to how he had played the week before, he took a step in the right direction.”
O’Brien was also asked about the importance of getting a win in the game even though it was just a preseason game. “Any time you win, it’s important. Any time you go out on the field and beat a quality opponent, which everybody in the NFL is a quality opponent, you go out there and you win, that’s important for everybody in the organization especially the players. To know that all the work they’ve put in in 17 practices, and it’s been a tough camp, they’ve worked extremely hard to go out and finally reap the rewards of a win, that’s important. That’s a good thing. Whether it counts or it doesn’t count in the standings, to me, it doesn’t matter. When you go out there and represent the city of Houston and represent the Houston Texans you’re going out there every time to win and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
They have a long way to go, but considering it had been almost a year since the team got a win of any kind, they will gladly take the victory and try to build on it in preparing for the 2014 season opener. Hopefully, the Texans can make a major improvement from last year, but it won’t be easy to accomplish.