In many ways, this was the battle of the new coaches. The Houston Texans’ new coach, Bill O’Brien was taking over a team that had lost 14 of the 16 matches they played last season – if anyone was wondering why the team needed a new coach. The Redskins were also sporting a new coach, Jay Gruden.
The game opened fairly predictably with neither side really gaining much yardage. The first nine possessions of the first quarter all resulted in punts. It was the Redskins who finally made a successful play, Andre Roberts moving the ball forward 25 yards into the Texan half. Alfred Morris was the go-to guy for the Washington team, as he got runs of 16 yards and 21 yards to set up Darrel Young with a chance to leap over the Houston defenders to get first blood.
Houston defender J. J. Watt managed to get a hand to the kick, and so the Redskins found themselves just six points up.
In the second quarter, the Texans responded with new quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, getting the ball out to DeAndre Hopkins who made a spectacular 76-yard touchdown and, with a good kick, took the Houston team into the lead, 7-6.
With just two minutes to go in regulation time in the second quarter, Texans Alfred Blue, got his hand on the ball after the Redskins had punted, and scored again, 14-6.
The second half was much more of an evenly played game, with no scoring until the final few minutes. The Texans made a 13-play drive of 68 yards, culminating in a 42-yard field goal by Randy Bullock, and that took the Houston team to an unassailable lead of 17-6.
Sadly for first overall pick, Jadeveon Clowney, he suffered what now turns out to be a torn meniscus on his first tackle of the game that may well require surgery and bench him from the Houston Texans for four to six weeks.
Speaking to the press after the game, Redskins coach Gruden said, “I’m not pleased with anything today because we lost. I like the effort, but there’s a lot of things we can correct both offensively and defensively, along with special teams, and we will.”