Instant Reaction: Texans vs. Broncos

A quick reaction to the Texans 18-17 preseason win over the Broncos on Saturday night.

-Hard not to like Tom Savage and what he did with his limited work on the field. On the game winning drive, Savage went 5 of 6 for 68 yards and a touchdown then capped it off with a two point conversion to Travis Labhart to give the Texans a 18-17 win over the Denver Broncos.

Savage looked cool and collected in the pocket and hit a key 4th and 3, with a 15 yard strike to Labhart to extend the drive. Savage is taking the steps necessary to become a viable backup for the Texans and he has put together two strong preseason games in a row.

-The return of Brian Cushing was a great sight to see for the defense. His lone tackle on the evening was for a TFL, but just seeing him move with confidence was positive. He showed no effects of the leg injury that knocked him out of the 2013 season, and adding him back to the middle of the defense will be a big boost for the defense.

-Ryan Griffin answered the call today with a good game catching the football and most importantly cleaning up his run blocking. With 5 catches for 71 yards and a 31 yard touchdown that set the Texans up for the game winning two point conversion. Griffin shook off his shaky start to the preseason with to below average performances his first two games to a solid performance against the Broncos.

-Eddie Pleasant had an interception today off a tipped pass from Max Bullough, but struggled with his coverage assigments. He could not get over the top to help A.J. Bouye on two deep touchdowns which pushed the Texans to a 10 point deficit heading into halftime. Pleasant is the 4th best safety on the team with all of the injuries, but good special teams play might not be enough to keep him on the team when cuts start arriving.

-Ricardo Mathews was productive in the trenches for the defense, and put together a 3 tackle evening with 1 sack, 1 quarterback hit and 2 TFLs in limited work. His size to play the run or pass is making him vital piece for the defensive line and looks like he is solidifying his spot on the 53 man roster.

-Brandon Brooks and Louis Nix III returned for the Texans and both needed to get some serious work on the field for all of the time they missed with their injuries. Getting the duo in football shape is important, especially for Brooks who needs to get ready for week one of the season to start at right guard. Nix will be a rotational player, but is was good to see the rookie get his first game action.

-Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue are proving they are more than capable of being Arian Foster’s backups during the season and then some. Together they had 14 carries for 49 yards and Grimes had a catch for 24 yards. Grimes punched in a 1 yard touchdown run to end a 8 play 57 yard drive to give the Texans a 7 to 3 lead. They are able to keep this offense functioning when either Blue or Grimes in the game that keeps defenses guessing on what is going to be run. Blue is turning into a tough runner to get those short yards when needed, and his big frame is a tough target to bring down.

-The Texans were plus two in the turnover department after taking the ball away two times from the Broncos while not turing the ball over. A.J. Bouye intercepted a pass off of Peyton Manning to set up the Texans first score, while Pleasant had the second take away of the night.

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