Sunday, August 28, 2016

Arizona Cardinals fall to Houston Texans 34-24 in preseason NFL action

Lamar Miller (26) scores for the Houston Texans.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXANS (August 28, 2016) The Houston Texans exploded for three touchdowns in the third quarter as they downed the Arizona Cardinals by the score of 34-24 in the third preseason game of 2016 for both teams.  The 71,515 fans in attendance at NRG Stadium witnessed the Texans go to 3-0 in preseason play while the Cardinals fell to 0-3. Houston is now 2-2 in pre-season against the Cardinals dating back to 2007 with the three previous matchups being played in Arizona. The last time the two teams met, the Texans fell to Arizona by the score of 32-0 on August 14, 2016.

On the first series of downs, Cardinal quarterback Carson Palmer was intercepted on a third-and-seven play; with a short over-the-middle pass intended for running back David Johnson. Free safety Andre Hal was in the “right place at the right time,” and as a result, picked off the pass to give the Texans a first-and-ten at the Arizona 26-yard line. Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler quickly engineered a five-play, 26-yard drive that ended with a Lamar Miller one-yard run over left tackle for the touchdown. Nick Novak split the uprights for the extra point, giving the Texans a 7-0 lead at the 11:38 mark in the first quarter. The Cardinals evened the with a David Johnson three-yard touchdown run, and a Chandler Catanzaro kick, with 8:48 left in the quarter. Houston added three point with 3:13 remaining in the qu

Texas Longhorn product Jaxon Shipley (16) scores
for the Arizona Cardinals.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

In the second quarter, the offensive flood gates opened for the Texans, as they scored three touchdowns, along with the extra points, to jump out to a 31-10 lead at the half. Arizona managed to score a 38-yard field goal by Catanzaro, but other than that, the Cardinal offense was dismal at best. Houston kicked off the second quarter with an interception by linebacker John Simon. The Ohio State Buckeye product returned the interception 59 yards at the 14:08 mark. Houston added seven more points on a 26-yard pass from Osweiler to rookie Will Fuller for the score. As usual, Novak kicked the extra point, as he did after the final score of the half. With 1:01 remaining until the break, Tom Savage, who took over quarterback duties from Osweiler after the Fuller score, marched the ball 81 yards in six plays for the score. He connected with wide receiver Jaelen Strong on a 17-yard pass to close out scoring in the first half. Osweiler left the game after completing 11-of-13 passes for 146 yards, two touchdowns and a rating of 139.1.

The Cardinals cut the Texan lead to 31-17 in the third quarter when backup quarterback Matt Barkley found Jaxon Shipley open in the end zone; connecting for a five-yard touchdown pass. The drive lasted 7:35 and covered 81 yards in 15 plays. They added an additional touchdown and extra point in the fourth quarter to close out their scoring for the game. Novak booted a 42-yard field goal with 24 seconds left in the game to give the Texans their 34-34 win.

Houston head coach Bill O’Brien talked to the media after the game and discussed the Texans’ running game, who rushed 23 times for 48 yards, “We need to do a better job of game planning.”

Sugar Land native and Olympic Gold Medalist
Simone Manuel was the Honorary Coin Flip Captain
for the Houston Texans.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
The Texans will have three days to prepare for their final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. Houston will travel to Arlington to face Dallas at Cowboy Stadium on Thursday, September 1, with a scheduled 7 p.m. CDT kickoff. The Texans kickoff the regular season on Sunday, September 11 with a 12 noon CDT matchup against the Chicago Bears. The Texans will have to cut to 75 players by Tuesday, August 30 at 3 p.m. The final cut to 53 players will occur on Saturday, September 3 at 3 p.m. The last day the Texans can claim players off waivers is Sunday, September 4 at 11 a.m. They may begin signing players to the practice squad one hour later; 12 noon on Sunday, September 4.

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