The Houston Texans host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason. Niner Noise previews the matchup, including key stats, positional competitions, players to watch, injury news and how to watch the game live.
Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans enter today’s matchup after winning their first game of the 2018 NFL Preseason. Check out both our live game thread and post game analysis for a breakdown of the Niners’ Week 1 victory, including highlights of the game and full position grades.
Last week, the 49ers fell behind early to the Dallas Cowboys, but third-string quarterback Nick Mullens provided an exciting fourth-quarter comeback that culminated with a touchdown pass to rookie wideout Richie James in the closing seconds of the game:
Meanwhile, the Texans defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 17-10 after jumping out to a 14-point lead, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from veteran backup quarterback Brandon Weeden to rookie third-round tight end Jordan Akins:
After falling victim to a multitude of injuries throughout the 2017 season, The Texans’ coaching staff was conservative with their personnel in their first preseason game. Starting quarterback Deshaun Watson — in his first game action since tearing his ACL last season — played just five plays, and attempted only one pass, before he was pulled from action.
The Texans also rested the majority of their starting defense in Week 1 of the preseason. Houston played much of the 2017 season without a number of key defenders — including top pass rushers J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus — which took a major toll on the team’s defensive numbers.
The Texans are likely to play the majority of their starting defenders today. Look for Houston to attempt to pressure the 49ers’ quarterbacks, who threw for over 350 yards against the Cowboys last week.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan also tried to play it safe last week, playing many starters — including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo — just a single series. Unfortunately, it didn’t go according to plan for San Francisco’s second-year coach.
In limited play, a number of important players sustained injuries, including tight end George Kittle, defensive end Solomon Thomas, running back Matt Breida and linebackers Malcolm Smith and Eli Harold. Luckily for San Francisco, none of the injuries are expected to keep these key players out of regular season action.
But before we detail all of the latest 49ers injury news, let’s break down some important statistics for tonight’s matchup: