What We Saw: Preseason Week 2

Texans @ Rams

Final Score: Texans 24, Rams 20

Writer: Adam Sloate (@MrAdster99 on Twitter)

 

Ball security was a huge problem for these teams last night. In addition to the three fumbles lost last night, there were countless plays where the ball was loose and had to be picked up at the last second. One of the loose balls that ended up becoming a fumble was this play from the Rams’ special teams unit:

As far as the score goes, the Texans were able to overcome the early deficit thanks to a nice last-minute drive at the very end of the second quarter. Then, they used that momentum to their advantage in the second half, scoring 10 on the Rams’ third-stringers, and then hung on for a 24-20 win.

 

Houston Texans

| Preseason Week 1 |

 

Quarterback

 

Davis Mills: 10/17, 96 yards, TD, 2 Sacks

Kyle Allen: 9/12, 71 yards, TD

Jeff Driskel: 3/3, 17 yards, TD | 2 carries, 24 yards

 

Watching Mills was an absolute snooze fest last night. Absolutely nothing special about his outing, although watching him piece together a 2-minute drill at the end of the first half was nice. Here was the pass that concluded the drive:

It’s not as though Mills was picking apart the Rams’ defense en route to that TD, though. Mills threw several short passes, several of which fell incomplete, and then lobbed one up for Phillip Dorsett on 3rd and 10 from the Texans’ own 35-yard line. Dorsett was able to come down with the pass at the Rams’ 33-yard line, and Rams corner Russ Yeast was called for unnecessary roughness, putting the Texans in the red zone.

Kyle Allen looked like the better quarterback in this game. He was more accurate, threw a couple of passes into some tight-ish windows, and also tacked on a touchdown pass:

It just looked like he was more comfortable slinging the football than Mills tonight. However, I didn’t see enough from Allen to suggest that he should be anything more than the backup.

Beautiful scramble from third-string QB Jeff Driskel:

Running Back

 

Royce Freeman: 9 carries, 30 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards

Marlon Mack: 8 carries, 29 yards

Dare Ogunbowale: 6 carries, 27 yards

Rex Burkhead: 2 carries, 5 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 9 yards

 

With Dameon Pierce sitting this one out, the Texans handed it off to the Old Guys Committee, giving Freeman, Mack, and Burkhead their dose of NFL action before they all serve as insurance to Pierce during the regular season. No one really stood out, as you can tell from the yards-per-carry averages. Plus, Freeman and Burkhead’s targets weren’t anything to get excited about.

The running backs were so boring the Texans’ social media team decided not to post any nice RB highlights or carries — not that there were any to post. This is Pierce’s job to lose.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Nico Collins: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 48 yards, TD

Phillip Dorsett: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 48 yards

Mason Schreck: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards, TD

 

The receivers made the QBs look good, not the other way around. Collins and Dorsett played like NFL-caliber receivers, holding onto the ball and making some nice catches in tight spaces. Two of the best examples came from the 2-minute drill at the end of the second quarter:

First, there was the catch from Dorsett that put the Texans in Rams territory:

Then, there was the catch from Nico Collins to punctuate the drive:

Those two have NFL experience, so I would expect them to be a step above the rest of the receiving corps.

Mason Schreck made a nice, NFL-caliber catch to score the Texans’ final touchdown of the game, adjusting to Driskel’s high throw and dragging his feet to make the touchdown count:

None of the play suggests a diamond is hidden in this group, but Nico Collins looked comfortable enough as the top option for the Texans’ offense and will be a solid second real-life (I’m not recommending him in fantasy, to be clear) option behind Brandin Cooks in this lineup.

 

Los Angeles Rams

| Preseason Week 1 |

 

Quarterback

 

John Wolford: 14/22, 142 yards, 5 Sacks | 4 carries, 7 yards

Bryce Perkins: 11/13, 123 yards, 1 Sack | 2 carries, 1 yard

 

Tough day at the office for John Wolford, who apparently did something to hurt the Texans’ defensive line in a past life:

They got to Wolford 5 times, forcing him to fumble once and scramble a handful of times just to get back to the line of scrimmage.

Bryce Perkins was actually the better-looking QB! He looked strong, and confident, and didn’t panic when the Texans started getting behind the Rams’ offensive line. He got rid of the football when he needed to and did some other fun stuff:

Perkins looked like the QB2, not John Wolford. 

 

Running Back

Trey Ragas: 6 carries, 14 yards, TD

Raymond Calais: 4 carries, 14 yards

A.J. Rose: 3 carries, 10 yards

 

I’m going to save everyone some time here and just say none of these guys are worth watching/speculating/holding onto in a fantasy league. They didn’t look good here and they’re not going to be getting looks on gameday without a catastrophic chain of injuries.

Also, Raymond Calais was cut after the game:

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Lance McCutcheon: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 96 yards

Austin Trammell: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 46 yards

Brycen Hopkins: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 41 yards

Jacob Harris: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 24 yards

 

The Rams’ coaching staff and QBs were generous enough to spread the targets around for the game, so we were lucky enough to see each of the receivers get to do their thing. The one that impressed me the most was Lance McCutcheon, who was able to get open often and help the Rams push the ball downfield. Take a look at this smooth move to get open against first-round pick CB Derek Stingley Jr.:

He’s out here breaking ankles, too:

Lance McCutcheon should be out there as WR3 or WR4 on regular-season game days. He’s absolutely looked like an NFL-caliber receiver this preseason and might be worth keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, he’ll be buried on the depth chart behind Cooper KuppAllen Robinson, and maybe Van Jefferson, but that also speaks to the quality of the Rams’ receiving corps.

Evidently, the Rams seem to think McCutcheon and Brycen Hopkins are worth keeping around, based on the cuts they’ve made lately:

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