Buccaneers top Texans 23-16 in preseason finale

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The Houston Texans committed five turnovers as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spoiled the home team’s chance at preseason perfection 23-16 Saturday night at NRG Stadium.

Rookie quarterback Davis Mills completed 10 passes on 27 attempts for 106 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. Mills also lost a fumble on an 8-yard sack in the fourth quarter from the Tampa Bay 26-yard line.

Starter Tyrod Taylor went 6-of-9 for 31 yards and rushed once for six yards. Taylor coughed up the football on a sack for a 5-yard loss in the second quarter.

Tom Brady started for the Buccaneers and went 11-of-14 for 154 yards and a touchdown. Blaine Gabbert was 4-of-10 for 26 yards. Rookie Kyle Trask completed 12 passes on 14 attempts for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Houston’s defense collected three turnovers in the game. Safety Terrence Brooks picked off Gabbert while cornerback Rasul Douglas and defensive end DeMarcus Walker each forced a fumble. Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill and defensive tackle Vincent Taylor each had a fumble recovery. For Taylor, it was his third of the preseason.

The Texans were without kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn. Safety Justin Reid handled the kickoffs, but did not get to attempt a field goal or extra point try. Houston was 2-of-4 in the red zone compared to the Buccaneers’ 1-of-3.

Houston has some optimism coming out of the final exhibition game. Houston produced 10 takeaways through three preseason games, which is one more than the Texans gathered throughout all of 2020 in a 16-game season.

Texans safety Justin Reid told Texans TV’s Drew Dougherty in a sideline report midgame that the turnover production will carry over to the regular season.

Tampa Bay will open the regular season hosting the Dallas Cowboys in the Thursday night opener on Sept. 9 at Raymond James Stadium.

The Texans will start the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium.