Sunday, August 21, 2016

Houston Texans First Touch 2016

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
By Lou Roesch
Special for TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 21, 2016) With the additions of quarterback Brock Osweiler, running back Lamar Miller and wide receivers Will Fuller V and Braxton Miller, Saturday night’s game at NRG Stadium was a night of first for these players and more who will play instrumental roles in both the success and failure of the Houston Texans this season.  All of those players first ever NRG Stadium touches along with some of the key team firsts are chronicled here.

Quarterback Brock Osweiler wearing number 17 on his back for the first time as the leader of the Texans at NRG Stadium had an inauspicious beginning against the New Orleans Saints. Lined up in the shotgun wearing the steel blue jersey, the young quarterback’s first play from scrimmage was an incomplete pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.  Two plays later he recorded the first of his 12 completions on the night with a four yard pass to running back Lamar Miller.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

Having run his first three plays from scrimmage in the shotgun, Osweiler’s first under center resulted in his in only sack of the evening at the hands of Saints’ defensive tackle Nick Fairley for minus four yards.

On the same series though, the strong-armed signal caller completed his first pass of 10 plus yards to tight end Stephen Anderson at 12:09 of the first quarter on a third and six fromand  the New Orleans 35 yard line.  Osweiler would hook up with rookie wide receiver Braxton Miller for the first time at NRG on an 11 yard pass play from the New Orleans 30 on second and long.  On the very next play, it was Osweiler to rookie Will Fuller connecting not just for their first pass play at home but the first scoring connection of the night as well.  The 19 yard strike capped the first home scoring drive by the Texans in 2016.  

Osweiler by the numbers; 12/19/124  TD, INT, Sack

Running back Lamar Miller received his first home touch as a member of the Houston Texans on their second play from scrimmage picking up two yards.  On the very next play, the 25 year old who arrived in Houston as a free agent caught his first pass out of the backfield for a four yard gain.  Miller picked up the first rushing first down of his career at NRG on the team’s third series of night as he picked up four yards on a second and three from the Houston 18 yard line.

L. Miller by the numbers; 6 carries 16 yards  1 reception for 4 yards

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

Wide receiver Braxton Miller made his first NRG reception at a most opportune time on Saturday night.  With his team facing second and 18 from the New Orleans 30, the rookie from Ohio State caught a wide receiver bubble screen picking up 11 yards along the way.

B. Miller by the number:  4 targets 3 receptions 34 yards 

Wide receiver Will Fuller, amid high expectations coming out of the University of Notre Dame, delivered in his first game in front of the more than 71,000 in attendance catching a 19 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brock Osweiler on his first target of the night.

Fuller by the numbers: 8 targets 4 receptions 73 yards TD 

On the defensive side of the ball, Brian Cushing got the first home tackle along with fellow linebacker John Simon as they tackled Saint running back Mark Ingram after a two yard gain on New Orleans first play of the night.

Whitney Mercilus recorded the first Texans sack of 2016 at NRG dropping quarterback drew Brees for a six yard loss with 1:03 left in the opening quarter.

Right cornerback, Jonathon Joseph snagged the Texans first NRG interception of 2016 ending the Saints first drive of the night.

Special teams played a key role in the Texans win on Saturday night over the Saints.  Not only did Nick Novak convert his first PAT at NRG this season but it was a special teams play by Brian Peters forcing the fumble recovered by Jonathan grimes that led to the Texans first score.  Novak also added field goals from 46 and 49 yards respectively.

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