4 takeaways from the Texans’ 17-0 shutout of the 49ers in the preseason finale

·4 min read

The Houston Texans wrapped up their preseason with a 17-0 shutout of the San Francisco 49ers. Houston finished the preseason with a 3-0 record and has two weeks to prepare for their season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 11 at NRG Stadium.

Here are a few observations from Thursday night’s game:

RB1 filled

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

If there was any doubt about who would start Week 1 for the Texans at running back, rookie running back Dameon Pierce showed you why it is his to lose. The former Florida Gator running back only needed one series to show the fans and his coaches why he should be in the starting lineup against the Colts.

Pierce only played in one series carrying the ball six times for 37 yards, and scored the Texans first rushing touchdown of the preseason on a 1-yard carry on Houston’s opening drive. 

“It is simply because of the O-Line play and they have been playing great,” said Pierce standing in front of his locker after the game. “They’ve allowed me to get to my reads, make the cuts I make, and ultimately they’ve been finishing guys 3 or 4 yards down the field, and that makes it a whole lot easier on me.”

The fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft only carried the ball 11 times in the preseason as he was held out of last week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, but was very productive when he did touch the ball averaging 7.8 yards per carry.

*SideNote*

Pierce talked about his offensive line and what they have done to open holes for him this preseason. Yet, one of the unsung heroes who has also been an intricate part of his success is fullback Troy Hairston. The 245-pound former linebacker out of Central Michigan has made sure Pierce isn’t touched until he has gained a significant amount of yards. 

On the right side of the ball

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that should excite the Texans fans this season on the offensive side of the ball outside of the aforementioned Pierce is two players opening holes for him. Right tackle Tytus Howard and right guard A.J. Cann dominated the 49ers’ defensive line every series they were on the field.

Signing Cann in the offseason and putting Howard in his natural position will pay enormous dividends for the Texans this season.

Jalen Pitre's passion

texans-role-jalen-pitre-taking-shape
texans-role-jalen-pitre-taking-shape

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Suppose the regular season plays out as the preseason has for rookie safety Jalen Pitre. In that case, he will hear many NFL analysts singing his praises and mentioning how promising his future is. One thing about that last statement is that the former Baylor Bears standout could care less about the accolades as he is focused on helping the Texans get back to their winning ways.

“What we notice is when you’re making a whole lot of big flash plays,” said coach Smith. “Jalen has been consistent throughout. He’s a smart player. He’s been like a sponge as far as learning. But he’s going to be around the ball. That’s what we’ve seen since OTAs. I’m excited about going forward with him and him lining up for us when Indy comes into town.”

Texans Tidbits

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive lineman Kenyon Green saw action for the first time this preseason. The 15th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft played 35 snaps and looked dominant in the run game.

The Texans’ defense finished the game with three sacks, giving them 13 total in the preseason. 

Linebacker Blake Cashman had a team-high five solo tackles. He finished the preseason as the Texans leader in tackles with a combined 19 (11 solo).

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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire