You want to hit someone wearing an opposing uniform at some point, and the Texans finally get a chance to do that Wednesday in Charlotte, as they will take on the Carolina Panthers in the first preseason game of 2017.
The team's next preseason game comes on August 19 against the Tennessee Titans.
Tom Savage will start the game for Houstin while DeShaun Watson will serve as the backup. In his final two seasons with Parkwood in 2009 and 2010, he racked up a combined 830 yards receiving and six receiving touchdowns. We'll never know whether Watt could have become the first to win it thrice in a row; back surgery for a herniated disc cut his 2016 season short at three games in which he had eight tackles (one solo, seven assisted), and 1½ sack.
That included doing something the pedestrian Savage can't do: Decisively taking off and running for paydirt on a 15-yard score late in the third quarter.
Webb's strikes to Byrd went for 50 and 8 yards.
numberFire's algorithms project Savage for 325.0 passing attempts, good for 2,060.9 passing yards, 11.84 touchdowns, and 9.6 interceptions.
The Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, and 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. But head coach Bill O'Brien seems open to the idea of Watson winning the job right out of gate, and it seems likely he'll start Houston's second preseason game in order to get some time with the first team offense.
Watson went on to finish the game completing 15 of 25 passes for 179 yards.
The rest of the night was highlighted by eighth-year veteran Joe Webb, who threw two touchdowns and made several nice plays outside the pocket. He wants to be the starter on September 10 when the Texans open the season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Our Prediction: Never expect shootouts in the preseason, with the one exception being perhaps in week three when starters typically see their most time. I don't have any doubts that they will only get better as a team as the regular season nears.