The Houston Texans put together another preseason win last night in St. Louis. Both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball seemed to be pulling together as expected, culminating in a 27-20 victory over the Rams.
Texans running back Vernand Morency was given an opportunity to show what he can bring to the Texans, and he proceeded to do so without hesitation. It was also a good night for defensive ends as Antwan Peek brought down St. Louis' quarterback twice, and Mario Williams began to show why he was the number one draft pick.
The Texans tried to stir things up early in the game, and were doing well utilizing TEs Bennie Joppru and Jeb Putzier until a holding call on rookie RB Wali Lundy seemed to kill the team's momentum. The Texans offensive line allowed their first and only sack of the preseason on a third down attempt. To add to fans frustration, Texans kicker Kris Brown was called out on the field for the next play only to miss a 37 yard field goal wide left.
Neither the Texans nor the Rams could put anything serious together offensively. The quarter ended with a 32 yard field goal from Rams kicker Remy Hamilton, giving the Rams the lead in the first quarter 3-0.
During the second quarter the Texans brought in running back Vernand Morency to the game. Morency took the ball on a 12 yard rush his first play, and only 6 plays later he pushed the ball the final 4 yards into the endzone. After a succesful PAT, the Texans had the lead 7-3.
The Rams and Texans went back and forth for several series, until CB Dexter McCleon blocked a 51 yard field goal attempt late in the second quarter. This gave the Texans another opportunity to score and widen the lead before the first half was up.
During the following offensive series for the Texans, Morency had a 9 yard reception from Texans starting QB David Carr and a 9 yard rush that put the Texans within field goal range with just seconds to spare in the half. Kris Brown was able to kick a 48 yard field goal through the uprights to finish the first half with the Texans in the lead, 10-3.
The Rams had the ball at the beginning of the second half, but it didn't start well for St. Louis. On the first play of the initial drive Texans DE Antwan Peek got through the Rams offensive line and brought down Rams RB Moe Williams, causing a fumble that was recovered by CB Phillip Buchanon.
The Texans tried to push the ball 10 yards closer to another 7 points, but were held short by the Rams defense. Again, Kris Brown was called upon to kick the 27 yard field goal and the Texans went up even further 13-3. The Rams offense answered back quickly, taking the ball 71 yards in 7 plays for a touchdown on the next series.
The Rams first touchdown in the game must have sparked something in the Texans offense too, because the longest rush in the game came in the next series from Texans RB Morency, as he found his way up the middle 45 yards for a touchdown, knocking the wind from St. Louis' sails and putting the Texans back up by a ten point margin, 20-10.
The Rams offense was now being driven by former Texans reserve QB Dave Rangone. Rangone threw 9/11 against his former team's defense, but during his first outing on the field he was sacked hard by Texans DE Earl Cochran. St. Louis does manage to finally get the ball across the goal line with a 4 yard rush from RB Fred Russell. The third quarter ended with the Rams trailing behind the Texans 20-17.
As the Texans continued their drive that began just before the end of the third quarter, QB Sage Rosenfels connected with rookie WR Derrick Lewis for a 44 yard touchdown reception. Lewis ended the night with 3 receptions for a total of 63 yards and the Texans only passing TD.
The final score of the game occurred midway through the fourth quarter as Rams kicker Hamilton put St. Louis final three points on the board with a 33 yard field goal. The game ended with the Texans on top of the Rams by a score of 27-20.