The Texans even for the pre-season had a poor showing in Week 1 as they got shut out 32-0 against the Cardinals. The Falcons on the other hand surprised me by beating the Dolphins in a 16-10 squeaker. Ryan Fitzpatrick was less than impressive while throwing 2 interceptions and no touchdowns. Matt Ryan was efficient while not throwing any interceptions or touchdowns. The big story here though is Jadeveon Clowney the number one overall pick in this years draft. Clowney looked good in the pass rush on the two series he played while looking a bit lost in coverage.
The Texans have to play better all around looking lost at times last week. If Clowney can continue to show that he can be a presence on the defensive line than the Clowney, Watt tandem that everyone is anticipating watching when the regular season starts will be quite impressive. If Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to look as bad he did last week the Texans may as well start Case Keenum at quarterback. Right now the Texans offensively look as good under Bill O’ Brien as they did under Gary Kubiak.
The Falcons look like they are ready to put last season behind them. The Falcons running game looked good without Steven Jackson as rookie Devonta Freeman averaged 5 yards a carry while Jaquizz Rodgers averaged 2.9 yards a carry as the two teamed up for 83% of the Falcons rushing yardage. Look for Matt Ryan to get similar playing time to last week. Look for Falcons backup T.J. Yates to be fired up as he faces his former team even if it is only the pre-season.
The key matchup in this game will be Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt versus the Falcons offensive line. Yes it is the pre-season and Watt and Clowney will only be playing a series or two, but it should be a precursor to what the Texans rush will look like once the regular season begins.
Final Score: Falcons 27 Texans 14