HOUSTON—The huge offseason investment the Houston Texans made in Brock Osweiler paid immediate dividends in the season opener.Osweiler threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns in his debut with Houston to lead the Texans and their revamped offense to a 23-14 win over the Bears on Sunday.
”I think he’s everything that we thought he would be,” Texans owner Bob McNair said.
Osweiler, who signed to a $72 million contract from Denver in the offseason, was helped by an offense filled with playmakers.There was nothing about the game that was perfect but we just kept playing … and we made the big plays when we needed to,” Osweiler said.
He completed passes to eight different receivers, led by rookie first-round pick Will Fuller, who became the first player in franchise history to have 100 yards receiving in a debut with 107 and a touchdown. DeAndre Hopkins added 54 yards and a score and running back Lamar Miller had 106 yards rushing in his first game with the Texans.Osweiler’s day started with a hiccup when he threw an interception on the first drive, but soon got going and looked comfortable after that.Houston trailed by 1 point entering the fourth quarter before Osweiler found Fuller on a short pass and he scampered 18 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-14.The Texans added a 38-yard field goal later in the quarter to make it 23-14.Jay Cutler threw for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but was also sacked five times and hurried several others on a day when linebackers Whitney Mercilus and 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney led the pass rush.
”Those struggles occurred a little bit more in the second half when we had to play backyard football where we had to throw it to catch up,” John Fox said. ”They’re a talented front and when you get too one-dimensional like that, it becomes problematic for everyone.”
J.J. Watt didn’t seem to be limited in his return after sitting out all of the preseason after back surgery. But last year’s Defensive Player of the Year wasn’t as effective as he normally is, and seemed to have a tough time dealing with three-time Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton.The Bears have a Monday night matchup with the Eagles on Sept. 19.Texans: Houston hosts Kansas City next Sunday, looking for a win to erase the memory of last season’s 30-0 Wild-Card loss to the Chiefs.Houston middle linebacker Brian Cushing, who had 110 tackles last season, injured his knee in the first quarter and did not return. Cushing started every game last season and 14 in 2014 after playing just 12 games combined in the previous two seasons because of two significant injuries to his left knee. Coach Bill O’Brien didn’t specify exactly what the injury was after the game, but said he would miss some time and they’d have more details on Monday.
NOTES—The Bears are 0-4 lifetime against the Texans, who entered the NFL in 2002…..Cutler was sacked 5 times…The Bears home opened is a week from Monday night against Philadelphia at Soldier Field.