One Day Later: Texans Win Over the Patriots in Preseason
What stood out 24 hours after the Texans won their preseason opener
Let’s take a look at the game again one day later.
Grading C.J. Stroud
I’m going to give C.J. Stroud a C+ for his performance. The offensive line put him in some bad spots, as you will see below, but the line can’t get blamed for the bad interception. The sweet scramble out of trouble was positive, and I liked the toss to Nico Collins too. He’s regularly been B+ and sometimes A in practice so weigh this game and the few snaps appropriately.
Let’s take a look at all the plays from C.J. Stroud’s debut.
1st and 10 - C.J. Stroud completes a pass to Nico Collins for a gain of eight yards
Stroud scanned the field right to left and hit Nico as he made his way across the field. Solid play.
2nd and 2 - Devin Singletary rushes for one yard
3rd and 1 - Devin Singletary rushes for two yards
1st and 10 - C.J. Stroud is sacked for a loss of 15 yards
Stroud sees the pressure right as it is arriving and attempts to escape to make something of the play, maybe even throw it away. Even if he had got away from the first defender, there was another defender there to clean him up. I understand what he was trying to do by extending the play.
2nd and 25 - C.J. Stroud scrambles for four yards on a broken play
This was good to see. Sure, it isn’t moving the chains and sets up a third and very long, but Stroud easily escaped the pressure and turned something into nothing. He wasn’t even touched despite an almost free run at him.
3rd and 21 - C.J. Stroud throw an interception to Patriots safety Jalen Mills
I have watched this play more than any other play from this game. Stroud never should have thrown the ball looking for Tank Dell. There is a clear checkdown available to Dalton Schultz and at least 10 yards of space for Schultz to rumble. The play design almost forces a checkdown if nothing is open watching the other two wideouts interact. It looked for a second that if John Metchie breaks loose he’s an option but Stroud had already moved past that read. He never saw Mills, but as Stroud talked about after the game and DeMeco Ryans talked about on Friday, he knows what he did and the hope is he’s learned from that mistake.
1st and 10 - Devin Singletary rushes for five yards
2nd and 5 - C.J. Stroud throws an incomplete pass intended for Devin Singletary
This play fell apart because of the blitz. New England sent too many and the only play Stroud can make is the dump to Singletary. The defender is in the throwing lane and the pass isn’t great, but Singletary should come down with this. Now, it might have gotten him smoked, but that happens sometimes when a blitz creates chaos. Nobody else is looking for the ball.
3rd and 5 - C.J. Stroud throws an incomplete pass intended for Dare Ogunbowale
The first reads don’t have anyone open yet and then the defender is all over Stroud in a heartbeat. The only choice is to try to get rid of it and he attempts to dump it off, but is too high as he is getting tackled. The penalty kept the drive alive, but that was a weak penalty and things probably should have ended here.
1st and 10 - Devin Singletary rushes for one yard
2nd and 9 - C.J. Stroud completes a pass to Steven Sims for a gain of five yards
The play action led to a bootleg where Stroud stumbled slowing him for a second. The backside defenders read the play well enough to get on Stroud in a hurry and he makes a nice throw considering he’s rolling and defenders are headed his way. It looked as though Tank Dell was layered behind Sims, and with more time Stroud might have been able to hit him or a first down.
3rd and 4 - C.J. Stroud rushes for a gain of two yards on a broken play
Kenyon Green gets eventually pushed back into the pocket and his man eliminates Stroud’s ability to pass. Then George Fant’s man gets off his block and makes the play on Stroud to force the punt. One more second or a little more ground held by Green and Stroud might have had a chance to pass for the first down.
Final line for C.J. Stroud: 2-4, 13 passing yards, 1 interception, and six rushing yards
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Tank Dell had a wonderful preseason debut. He finished with five catches for 65 yards and a score. He probably could have had a couple of more catches and close to 100 yards if he and Davis Mills had been on the same page on a couple of more throws.
Head coach DeMeco Ryans was impressed.
“Yeah, what I see from Tank [Dell], I see a dynamic player. He's electric, and he's always open,” the head coach gushed on Friday. “It was really fun to see Tank, just to see him in that moment and to see the moment not be too big for him, just [to] continue to do what he's been doing on the practice field.”
It hasn’t been common for the Texans to hear praise to this level about rookies. The words from Ryans match the performance from Dell. There is a buzz about Dell around football after just one game. Let’s see what he does for an encore performance.
A (Cody’s Personal) Depth Chart Update - Running Backs
I obviously don’t get to see everything, but this is how I would shake it out right now. Boone played well in the preseason game and he’s performed better in practice when I have watched. I’d think Valladay and even Doaks have practice squad potential.
Kurt Hinish’s Tough Situation
I don’t know if Kurt Hinish is going to make the roster for the Texans. And that stinks. He played his ass off last year and he’s facing an uphill climb. If the Texans keep five defensive tackles, Hinish will make the squad. If the team keeps four, he’s likely out of luck.
He’s also good enough he likely won’t get stashed on the practice squad for Houston. This is quite the change from recent years when it seemed like there wasn’t very much depth or talent on the roster.
DeMeco Ryans was thrilled for Hinish who finished the preseason game with a sack and another tackle for a loss.
“Last night for Kurt [Hinish], I saw a guy attacking,” he said. “What we want from up front, he attacked, he made plays, he was disruptive. He played on the other side of the line of scrimmage. It was really fun to see Kurt having fun playing football. He was fired up. He made some plays, and it was fun to see. He's been battling through, and he's been there, pushing through camp, and he's battled through a lot, so it was great to see him out there having fun.”