In week fourteen of the 2017 NFL season the 4-8 Houston Texans battled the 2-10 San Francisco 49ers at NRG Stadium. The somewhat hot 49ers come down to Houston to face a battered Texan team. Polar opposites for two team’s quarterback situations with the up-and-coming Jimmy Garoppolo and the below-average Tom Savage. Two teams playing for pride as they both know their playoff hopes are non-existent. Will Jadeveon Clowney blow up this Kyle Shanahan offense? What will this constantly changing offensive lineup look like for Houston this week? What will the return of veteran linebacker Brian Cushing do for this defense? Find out here with the week 14 Houston Texans takeaways.
Week 14 Houston Texans Takeaways
Familiar Name Back in H-Town
As usual the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans was Tom Savage. However, a rough, unexpected, and odd change occurred when Savage took multiple huge hits from San Francisco defenders in the first half of the game. These hits piled up and eventually Savage was taken to the blue pop-up medical tent on the sideline. As Savage came out of the tent backup quarterback T.J. Yates made his way into the game. Savage didn’t know he was replaced until he saw Yates run onto the field and had to be held back by some medical staff.
With Savage in the locker room and inactive for the rest of the game the offense was Yates’ to lead. Most of his production came early in his action as two of his first three drives went for touchdowns. Everything after those first few Yates touchdown passes was hum-drum Houston offense with an amazing DeAndre Hopkins catch sprinkled in every occasionally. Overall Yates was 14 of 26 for 175 yards, two touchdowns and no picks.
Astounding, Amazing, A Regular Day
For Hopkins, it doesn’t matter who’s throwing him the ball. In most situations a receiver would lose momentum and production would slow down if a quarterback change occurred mid-game. Not for Hopkins.
He finished the game with 11 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns. As a player who just earned the biggest contract in the game for his position group, his play has matched his money. Next week will most likely display the most competitive cornerback-wide-receiver match-up all year. It will be Hopkins against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jalen Ramsey and former teammate A.J. Bouye.
Defense’s Dreary Day
As a whole, the defense just didn’t seem to play with any energy or enthusiasm. This might’ve been Kevin Johnson’s worst game in his young NFL career. Every other play it seemed as though he was either too far off in coverage or being flagged for pass-interference for being too tight in coverage. Today just wasn’t going his way at all.
Although the outcome was negative a few bright spots still emerged. Two of them being the return and play of Cushing and the constant disruption from Clowney. Cushing came off a 10-game suspension and filled in for injured outside-backer Brennan Scarlett. He finished the game with two solo tackles, three assisted, and one half of a sack. Clowney’s stat-line doesn’t do his performance justice, it reads just three solo tackles and three assisted.
The Houston Texans next game will be in Jacksonville, now nicknamed “Sacksonville” Florida. Houston fans should be very, very worried. These Jags are red hot and look to harass the offense the same way they did in week one.