Some bullet-point thoughts on the Texans’ 19-16 preseason loss at Arizona on Saturday night.
The stars shined. Mario Williams had a big sack and created havoc, Brian Cushing forced a fumble and Andre Johnson broke free deep to haul in a 44-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub over Justin Miller.
The front-line defense was physical. We saw the forced fumble from Cushing. We saw a Eugene Wilson hit that flipped Larry Fitzgerald right as he made a catch. Zac Diles made a big third-down tackle. The first-string cover guys made quick hits after receptions.
Troy Nolan and Daryl Sharpton came up with opportunistic interceptions. Nolan dropped a chance at another.
Houston’s defense held Arizona to 120 total yards through three quarters, an average of 3.2 yards per play through the first 45 minutes.
Steve Slaton lost a fumble at the goal line. This problem is supposed to be solved. If he can’t get it fixed, he’s going to get limited carries. I liked what I saw from him aside from that, but he washed a lot of that away. He ran well on a short pass from Dan Orlovsky -- the sort of play the Texans need from him.
Houston was 0-for-4 in the red zone and 0-for-2 on goal-to-go situations. That’s been a point of emphasis, and they are surely frustrated they couldn’t fare better. The offensive line won very little on those plays. Bad sign.
When they needed to get downfield, I saw a lack of hustle in some offensive linemen. Chris White was guilty on one occasion where he could have been of help and didn’t make a big effort.