Takeaways From the Texans Preseason Win Over the Chiefs

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via Ed Zurga/Associated Press

9. Deshaun Watson Is On Track To Play Week One

Watson suffered a torn ACL during practice after a Week 8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks (Christian Smith/Associated Press).

The major question on the mind of every fan going into the Texans preseason was, “Will Deshaun Watson be ready to play Week One?” That question was answered on Thursday, as Watson proved to everyone that he is healthy and ready to roll. He was deemed the starter and played on the first drive of the game. During this drive, he completed his only pass attempt on a four-yard slant to Bruce Ellington, briefly showcasing his deadly efficiency. With Watson healthy and ready to play Week One, Texans fans have a lot to be excited about.

8. Watson Has Capable Backups

Even though Watson appears healthy, it was certainly a good sign to see backups Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb both have exceptional performances against Kansas City. Weeden completed nine passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns in just eleven attempts. And while Weeden dominated from the air, Joe Webb was a threat on the ground, leading the Texans with 42 rushing yards on four attempts. One of these runs arguably included the best play of the game (above). After getting chased by three Chiefs defenders to the 30 yard-line, Webb somehow found a way to scramble, avoid multiple defenders, and make it inside the five. Overall, both backup quarterbacks played extremely well and put Texans fans at ease during the first game of the Texans preseason.

7. The Texans Offensive Line Can Hold Its Own

Texans offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson during training camp (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle).

After being one of the league’s worst units in 2017, the offensive line showed major signs of improvement during this first game of the Texans preseason. Although the line was still inefficient on short yardage plays, they still held their own throughout the game, and gave backup quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb more than enough time in the pocket. One of the most promising signs was how they did not allow quarterback Deshaun Watson to be touched once during his only drive of the game. With this solid performance, on top of new additions like Seantrel Henderson, Zach Fulton, and Senio Kelemete, the Texans offensive line looks to be a stingy unit in 2018.

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6. Jordan Akins is a Red Zone Threat

Jordan Akins catching one of his two touchdowns against the Chiefs (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle).

One of the most surprising developments of this Chiefs/Texans preseason matchup was the red zone dominance of Texans tight end Jordan Akins. Drafted in the third round out of UCF, many analysts were questioning why the Texans drafted him so early. He dispelled of those doubts on Thursday, starting off his professional career with a bang. Two catches, two touchdowns. No Texans player had ever done that in a preseason game before. With C.J. Fiedorowicz retired, the Texans have been scrambling to find a new tight end that can take up the reins and be a threat in the red zone. Jordan Akins appears to be just the right player to do it.

5. Romeo Crennel’s Defense Looks Poised For a Top Ten Season

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) being brought down by linebacker Duke Ejiofor (53) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Despite defensive stars J.J. Watt, Tyrann Mathieu, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus not being able to play on Thursday, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel had his unit put on a show in Kansas City. With pass rushers like Duke Ejiofor and Christian Covington bringing constant pressure, the Chiefs offense couldn’t get anything going, only scoring ten points the entire game. This defensive dominance was highlighted by Chad Henne throwing an interception to Zach Cunningham after Dylan Cole tipped his pass. Overall, the defense was spectacular despite not having its star players, making the Texans defense poised for a top ten season in 2018.

4. Other Storylines to Watch

Troymain Pope was signed as a UDFA by the Texans over the offseason after stints with the Jets and Seahawks (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle).
  • Running back Troymaine Pope showed off his receiving skills, leading the team with three receptions for 47 yards.
  • Lamar Miller looked explosive against the Chiefs, rushing for 29 yards on four carries
  • UDFA Keenan Gilchrist led the defense with nine total tackles
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