Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) is pressured by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Samson Ebukam (56) during the first half at NRG Stadium in Houston on Thu Aug 25, 2022 (AP News photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
In the final tune-up before the regular season, the Houston Texans defeated the San Francisco 49ers in a 17-0 shutout in the final preseason game on Thursday evening at NRG Stadium.
San Francisco finished the preseason 2-1 while Houston went undefeated at 3-0.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan had the opening day starters begin the game on offense. Quarterback Tre Lance played the entire first quarter and the first drive in the second quarter before being pulled in favor of Nate Sudfeld. Running back Jeff Wilson Jr. started at halfback. The first drive stalled at the Texans 36-yard line after Steven Nelson broke up a deep ball to Deebo Samuel.
On the flip side Texans’ head coach had his opening day starters in the lineup as well. Quarterback Davis Mills led an opening drive that went 85 yards on 11 plays that resulted in rookie running back Dameon Pierce one-yard rushing touchdown. Pierce rushed for six carries on 36 yards during the drive. Charles Omenihu’s roughing the passer penalty kept the drive alive after the defense had stopped a third down conversion attempt.
Lance finished with 7 of 11 for 49 yards as the next three drives didn’t amount to much as the Texans defense forced the second year quarterback to check down the ball that resulted in failed third down conversions. San Francisco was also shutdown on a fourth down conversion attempt.
Mills played the entire first half and opened up the second half with a six play 77-yard drive that was capped off with a 16 yard touchdown reception by Chris Moore. Mills finished 6 of 10 for 58 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Sudfeld and Brock Purdy battled for the backup quarterback role as they rotated in on offense in the second half. Neither distanced themselves from one another in winning the backup role. A combination of penalties, turnovers and dropped balls plagued the offense throughout the second half.
Sudfeld finished 5 of 10 for 49 yards with one interception. Purdy was 13 of 20 for 182 yards and one interception.
The lone offensive bright spot for San Francisco was backup tight end Ross Dwelley who had three catches for 42 yards.
The 49ers coaching staff now has some tough decisions to make between now and August 30th when teams have to cut the rosters down to 53 players for the regular season. There’s a crowded room at running back with Trey Sermon being a possible casualty of the talented backfield.
GAME NOTES: San Francisco was 6-for-15 on third down conversions. Houston was 6-for-14.
UP NEXT: San Francisco opens the regular season on the road against the Chicago Bears on Sunday 9/11 at 10:00am at Soldier Field.