In the Texans, 27-17 loss to Carolina Watson shined while getting the majority of Houston's snaps under center. What they do care about his how the quarterbacks on each team performed.
The Texans' first-round draft pick (and 12th overall) completed 15 of 25 passes for 179 yards (with a 81.9 passer rating) in relief of starter Tom Savage.
Are the Panthers better than they were a year ago?
It should be noted that Savage has taken all the first team snaps so far during training camp and starters typically play no more than a drive or two in a preseason opener. His catch rate a year ago was awful and he tends to disappear in big games. It is a big jump from college to the NFL. "But I don't think it's life-threatening with Braxton", O'Brien said. "Obviously, it was his first opportunity with those guys, so we just need to keep fine-tuning some things". His first play was a play-action play rolling to his right while keeping his eyes down the field for a six-yard dump pass. It's a good thing he has that skill, because Houston's offensive line rarely gave him time. "When he showed some real problems with that shoulder, maybe some soreness, you take him out". He wasn't afraid to throw the ball away and didn't force anything. I have ZERO problem with the Texans giving Watt a normal veteran's workload in the preseason.
This is the highest level of this sport.
The Texans offensive line was a big concern going into this season, especially who will play left and right tackle. "I just have to continue to do things well".
"I thought both of those guys had their moments where they were really playing well", O'Brien said. "At the end of the day it's still football". He appeared to be very comfortable in the pocket, as he avoided pressure and knew when to get the ball out of his hands. Bill O'Brien has continued to reiterate that he's ahead of schedule and that's certainly the case from what I've seen today.
So how did Tom Savage do?
Savage finished 9-11 for 69 yards, with a 92.8 passer rating. In the Panthers first drive out of the half, he found him on the near sideline for a 29-yard completion, and capped off the drive with an 8-yard pass to him in the back of the end zone. "I'll have a better update for you tomorrow".
Former South Carolina Gamecock Damiere Byrd, a rookie with the Panthers, led all receivers with four receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Derek Anderson, Newton's primary backup since his 2011 rookie season, has been taking top reps in training camp for the past week, and will start against the Texans. What he isn't, not by a long shot, is an National Football League quarterback.