Osweiler downs Bears in Texans debut
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[September 12, 2016]
HOUSTON -- Making his first
start with the organization that pried him away from the defending
Super Bowl champions, Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler was
not only able to dispense with quality advice, he was forced to heed
his own wise words.
Osweiler and rookie receiver Will Fuller made memorable debuts as
the Houston Texans claimed a 23-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on
Sunday at NRG Stadium.
Osweiler, a free-agent signee previously with the Broncos, completed
22 of 35 passes for 231 yards with two touchdowns and an
interception. His 18-yard scoring pass to Fuller with 12:44
remaining provided the Texans (1-0) the lead for good.
Fuller, a first-round pick from Notre Dame, earned a measure of
redemption with his touchdown and another 35-yard reception that set
up a 38-yard Nick Novak field goal with 6:10 to play. Fuller dropped
what potentially would have resulted in an 83-yard touchdown late in
the first half yet finished with five catches for 107 yards.
"The thing I love about Will in that situation is he came back in
the second half and made a couple big plays for us," Osweiler said.
"He really had that play-the-next play mentality and I just told
him, 'Hey, put that in your back pocket for the rest of your
career.' You're going to have moments like that and it's all about
the next play."
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler passed for 216 yards and a touchdown
but was harassed throughout the second half by the Texans' defensive
front. Cutler did not complete a pass in the third quarter, absorbed
five sacks total and was hit 13 times.
The Texans pitched a shutout in the second half, limiting Chicago to
"It's going to take time and experience," Cutler said of the pass
protection. "It was (center) Cody's (Whitehair) first game out
there, and (left guard Josh Sitton) has been with us four or five
days. We don't want to make excuses at all. There was nothing up
front or on the back end or anything defensively that we weren't
After an Osweiler interception on the opening Texans series, Cutler
marched the Bears (0-1) 75 yards in eight plays, converting a
13-yard, third-down pass to Eddie Royal and a 29-yard pass to Alshon
Jeffery to the Houston 20-yard line before Jeremy Langford capped
the march with a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:58 left in the opening
quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Osweiler, who won his first NFL start with the Broncos last season
at Chicago, rebounded from his miscue and connected with DeAndre
Hopkins for a beautiful 23-yard fade pass for a score with 3:14 left
in the half to give the Texans a 10-7 lead.
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"It was a great ball," said Hopkins, who had five receptions for 54
yards. "We did some film study and thought we would have that play,
and we did what we practiced."
Chicago closed the second quarter with a flourish, covering 75 yards
in three plays after the Fuller drop. Jeffery hauled in a 54-yard
catch over Texans safety Andre Hal before Cutler hit Royal for a
19-yard strike with seven seconds left in the half for a 14-10 Bears
Just 53 seconds into the third quarter, Hal picked off Cutler at the
Chicago 37 to set up the second Novak field goal and ignite the
Texans' second-half defensive surge. While Houston endured struggles
converting in the red zone, the Bears proved totally helpless once
Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus (two sacks) and the rest of the
Houston defense started rolling.
"That was just poor execution," Bears coach John Fox said of the
interception. "I don't like getting into blame games, but it just
wasn't executed very well."
NOTES: Texans LB Brian Cushing was sidelined by a right knee injury
on the first defensive series and, according to reports, will be out
for a minimum of six weeks with an MCL strain. Cushing will not
require surgery. ... Bears WR Kevin White made his NFL debut after
missing his entire rookie season with a stress fracture in his lower
left shin. He was targeted seven times and finished with three
receptions for 34 yards. ... Texans RB Lamar Miller had 32 touches
for 117 yards in his Texans debut. His high for the Dolphins last
season in a game was 22 touches against the Eagles on Nov. 15. ...
Bears LB Leonard Floyd made his first career start and had six
tackles plus a half-sack of Texans QB Brock Osweiler in the third
quarter. Floyd, limited by shoulder and hamstring issues in the
preseason, was the ninth overall pick out of Georgia.
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