Houston Texans Top Bucs In NFL Preseason Finale For Both Teams

By Ross Everett

The Houston Texans produced a 17 point outburst in the second quarter and went on to beat the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20 in the NFL preseason finale for both teams. Rex Grossman carried the bulk of the workload for Houston, finishing with 197 yards and two touchdowns in an effort that likely secured him the #3 quarterback position on the Texans roster behind Matt Schaub and Dan Orlovsky. The Texans evened their NFL preseason record at 2-2, while the Bucs dropped to 1-3.

Houston rewarded their NFL betting backers by winning outright as a +3 road underdog. The 47 combined points went well OVER the posted total of 33. In fact, with 27 points scored in the first half the two teams came very close to topping that total in the opening two quarters alone.

After the game, Grossman was philosophical about his chances of making the team:

“I don’t control any of that. All I wanted to do was go out and have a good game for either this team or somebody else. That’s not up to me. I thought I did that, and we’ll see what happens. I feel decent about my audition. If they cut me, then hopefully somebody else will pick me up.”

Texans coach Gary Kubiak was keeping his cards close to his vest, but gave a very positive assessment of Grossmans performance in the NFL preseason:

“I was very impressed. You could see signs of that during camp, whenever he was working that first seven or eight days. Obviously he knows what this league’s about. He knows how to make plays. He was ready to play.”

When asked specifically about Grossman, Kubiak demurred and spoke of the challenge of cutting the roster down to 53 players:

“I don’t know. … We’ve got to look at a lot of things. It’s a tough process, that 53 situation, so we’ll see. He sure as heck helped himself.”

The game was the NFL debut of Greg Olson as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator. Olson was promoted Thursday when former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was sacked as the teams offensive mastermind after a sluggish output in the preseason.

After the game, Bucs head coach Raheem Morris was pleased with the performance of #1 draft pick Josh Freeman, wholl likely end up as the teams third string QB. Freeman struggled at time but also dished out a touchdown pass and earned his coachs praise:

“He came out a little shaky. He had to make a couple of great scrambles there, make a couple of good third-down conversions to end that thing with a two-minute drive to get us in the end zone It’s what you want to see. You want to see these guys play better every time you go out there.”

The Texans will kick off the NFL regular season at home, hosting the New York Jets on Sunday. Theyll take to the road the next weekend, taking on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Tampa will host the Dallas Cowboys in week one before heading to upstate New York the following Sunday for a game against the Buffalo Bills.

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