Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-7-0-0 — 10
Houston Texans 7-0-3-9 — 19
FINAL: Buccaneers Miss Opportunities, Texans get First Win of Season
Buccaneers kicker Kyle Brindza missed three field goals in Houston as the Texans notched their first win of the season, 19-10 in an ugly contest at NRG Stadium. The Texans weren’t perfect, but played well enough late to hold on. This week they were finally able to control the game on the ground, rushing as a team 46 times for 186 yards. Mallett finished 24/39 with only one INT, and Hopkins came back from his concussion with eight catches for 101 yards and a TD.
For Tampa, their offense was unable to stay onto the field. The Bucs finished 1-12 on third down, despite finishing with over 300 yards of total offense. The real issue during the week will be Brindza, whose only make was a 58 yarder. After that bomb, Brindza missed kicks from 41, 33, and 57 yards out. He also missed an extra point.
Houston (1-2) will travel to undefeated Atlanta next week, while the Buccaneers (1-2) will host Carolina.
Texans Put the Game Away in 4th
Winston drove Tampa down the field to start the 4th, but another missed field goal from Kyle Brindza left the Bucs empty-handed.
On Mallett’s first play after the miss, he hit Nuk Hopkins for 30, who also was the victim of a facemask penalty. That put Houtson deep in enemy territory, and four plays later Alfred Blue burst out for 20 yards to paydirt.
After the Bucs went three and out, the Texans put a sustained drive together to end the game. A 19-yard Bullock field goal capped a 14 play march that lasted for almost seven minutes.
Nobody Wants to Win This Game
The third quarter of play was a joke in Houston.
Houston managed a field goal to pull ahead, but neither team generated much of anything. Tampa had a nice drive and a TD pass to Evans, but a review ruled he didn’t maintain possession.
For Houston, it’s nice to see a solid rushing attack for the first time this season. It hasn’t been world-changing, but it’s a positive sign before the return of Arian Foster.
Halftime: Winston and Bucs Hanging Around
In what was supposed to be a bounce-back game for Houston, the Texans have excelled at blowing scoring opportunities. Penalties and mistakes have made this game close, as the Texans trail 9-7 at the half.
As you can see, the Texans have excelled at shooting themselves in the foot. Until those problems are remedied, they stand no chance in the NFL. They haven’t been terrible, as Ryan Mallett has been much improved and Alfred Blue had his best first half of the season.
Aside from the screen pass touchdown, Jameis Winston has been average. He’s feeding the newly-returned Mike Evans, but the Bucs have struggled on the ground and have terrorized by Clowney and Watt.
Tampa and Charles Sims Pulled Ahead
Needing a response, the Buccaneers forced a Ryan Mallett interception on the first play of a drive late in the first half.
The Bucs didn’t waste much time, as shifty RB Charles Sims snagged a screen pass and rumbled 32 yards into the endzone.
The Texans responded with a nine-play drive of their own, but Randy Bullock missed a 47 yard field goal to end the drive.
The Texans Came Out Firing
After passing 58 times in last week’s loss, Mallett wasted no time dropping back and getting to work. He completed 11 of his first 15 passes, including a short strike to DeAndrew Hopkins for the game’s first TD.
The early Texans’ offense is what fans have been expecting all season. The passes are accurate, and Alfred Blue is running hard. One reason for the turnaround could be guard Oday Aboushi, who was cut from the Jets ten days ago.
Preview: Tough Texans Determined for Turnaround
A summer of hype has quickly turned to horror in Houston, as the 0-2 Texans head home to host the Buccaneers. Belive it or not, the biggest problem with Houston right now isn’t their QB situation.
The Texans are struggling with injuries right now, and will be missing starters on both sides of the ball Sunday. That doesn’t include Arian Foster, who will spend one more week on the sidelines recovering from a preseason groin injury. It does include Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown, and he could be joined on the sidelines by guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, who is questionable with a calf injury.
For Tampa, everything revolves around the day-today maturation of Jameis Winston. This week he’ll see the return of deep threat Mike Evans, but will lose Austin-Seferian Jenkins. Jenkins has a shoulder injury, but was a big target for Winston and has already hauled in two touchdowns on 10 targets.