In a game that saw all three Houston quarterbacks see playing time, the Texans showed the 71,403 fans in attendance at NGR Stadium on Saturday, August 15, 2015 that exciting things are happening on Kirby Drive. The Texans sent the 49ers back to San Francisco with a 23-10 preseason loss and in doing so, made head coach Bill O’Brien’s job tougher to pick the 53 players who will wear a Texans’ jersey by the time Week One rolls around.
The Texans wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Quarterback Brian Hoyer directed the Texans down the field on their first possession and put six points on the board with a 58-yard pass to wide receiver Cecil Shorts III. The score completed an 87-yard, eight play drive that lasted 3:48. Houston added two points to the tally with a two-yard pass from Hoyer to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins grabbed the ball on the left end zone side line and pulled it in for the conversion.
After a set of three and out plays by the 49ers, the Texans received the ball on their 22-yard line and Ryan Mallett was give field general duties for the Texans’ second possession. The Texans drove down the field and ended at drive on a fourth-and-one with the 49ers defense stopping Houston. San Francisco took possession on their own one-yard line with 1:01 remaining in the first quarter.
San Francisco moved the ball 99-yard down the field, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blaine Gabbert to tight end Garrett Celek. They added a kicking conversion to cut the Texans’ lead to one. It took the 49ers seven plays and 3:15 to get on the scoreboard. After nine plays by the Texans, San Francisco got the ball bacl and drove 54 yards in nine plays to kick a 37 yard field goal. That took the score to 10-8 in favor of the 49ers, at the half.
In the second half, Texan head coach Bill O’Brian sent third string quarterback Tom Savage into the game and he immediately engineered a seven play, 58-yard drive ending in the Houston’s second touchdown of the evening. On a third and seven play from the 49ers seven-yard line, Savage connected with wide receiver Jaelen Strong on a 10-yard pass play for the score, Kicker Randy Bullock added the extra point to give the Texans’ a 15-10 lead at the 9:53 mark in the third quarter. Twenty seconds later, Texan linebacker Jason Ankrah sacked San Francisco quarterback Dylan Thompson in the end zone; scoring a safety for the Texans and giving Houston a 17-10 lead. It was the first Texans safety since defensive tackle Jeremy Slechta sacked Tony Romo in August 2004.
At the 8:51 mark in the fourth quarter, Bullock capped a 51-yard, 12-play drive with a 41-yard field goal. The score gave the Texans a 20-10 lead. The fourth quarter saw numerous player substitutions to give the coaching staffs of both teams a chance to see and evaluate talent. The Texans added three additional insurance points with a 41-yard field goal with 58 seconds remaining in the game.
Next up for the Texans in pre-season play will be the Denver Broncos on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at NRG Stadium. The Broncos are coming off a 22-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks. The game will see the return to NRG Stadium of former Texan head coach Gary Kubiak and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Both currently hold the same positions with the Broncos.