Hous­ton Texans

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - AFC SOUTH - Prsea­son notes by Jor­dan God­win

In a per­fect world for Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, both start­ing QB Tom Sav­age and backup De­shaun Wat­son will play well, stay healthy and con­tinue to de­velop poise in his of­fen­sive sys­tem.

In Hous­ton’s 27-23 win against the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots, Sav­age went a crisp 8-for-9 for 98 yards and a touch­down. Mean­while, Wat­son was slightly less ac­cu­rate than he was in his de­but, go­ing 3-for-10 for 102 yards but elec­tri­fied with an 8-yard touch­down run.

Sav­age main­tains a firm hold on the starter job.

Rookie watch: RB D’Onta Fore­man, a third-round pick, had an­other strong game, rush­ing for 17 yards on seven car­ries with a 4-yard touch­down while also break­ing two tack­les on a 63-yard re­cep­tion. Fore­man has 165 com­bined rush­ing and re­ceiv­ing yards in two pre­sea­son games and is mak­ing an in­creas­ingly con­vinc­ing case for a big­ger role in the of­fense. … NT Rickey Hat­ley busted through the mid­dle for a big sack of Pa­tri­ots backup quar­ter­back Jimmy Garop­polo.

Note­wor­thy: Two long­time cor­ner­stones of the de­fense — DE

J.J. Watt and LB Brian Cush­ing — made big plays in lim­ited ac­tion against New Eng­land. Watt burst through the line to tackle Pa­tri­ots RB Rex Burk­head be­hind the line of scrim­mage for a 2-yard loss, and Cush­ing later had a brick-wall tackle of Burk­head just past the line. … Just two weeks re­moved from a failed phys­i­cal with the New York Jets, WR

Bruce Elling­ton had 93 re­ceiv­ing yards on four catches and showed great chem­istry on deep passes from Sav­age in DeAn­dre

Hop­kins’ ab­sence. Hop­kins (hand) and OLB Jade­veon

Clowney (undis­closed) didn’t play vs. New Eng­land.

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