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NFL Team Report - Houston Texans - INSIDE SLANT
In their first preseason game, the Houston Texans couldn't have looked worse if their game plan was built with the goal of putting on a pathetic performance.
The 32-0 loss at Arizona was an embarrassment because it continued a problem that's plagued the offense since the start of OTAs - a poor performance by the quarterbacks.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is playing with his fifth team in 10 years, was so bad it was alarming. Coach Bill O'Brien forced Fitzpatrick to play the first half, which yielded these pitiful stats: 6-of-14 for 55 yards with no touchdowns, two interceptions and a 14.6 rating.
Including veteran backup Case Keenum (76.2 rating) and rookie Tom Savage (77.1), the passer rating was 24.4 under O'Brien, who earned a reputation in college and at New England as a quarterback guru.
The Texans have two practices this week with Atlanta before hosting the Falcons on Saturday night. If the quarterback play doesn't improve dramatically, the Texans are likely to get embarrassed again.
"It was a disappointing performance, and the passing game starts with me," Fitzpatrick said after practice Monday. "We've already moved on. We made corrections, and we're looking forward to the next one."
Fitzpatrick was O'Brien's choice to replace Matt Schaub, who was traded to Oakland. He received a two-year contract that included $4 million guaranteed.
O'Brien put the blame on himself and his assistants for the 32-0 loss at Arizona.
"We have to coach them better, and it starts with me," he said. "We've got to improve a lot as coaches. We're all in this together. As a team, nobody played well. Nobody coached well. It was bad football. There's nowhere to go but up. We all have to learn from our mistakes."
The Texans passed up a chance to draft Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater. They didn't take a quarterback until Savage in the fourth round. He was 2-of-3 for 14 yards in his debut. He was tackled for a safety.
"This whole thing is a work in progress," Fitzpatrick said. "We'll get better, and, hopefully, that shows leading up to the season.
"I don't think you can let it play with your confidence at all. You've got to take it for what it was, learn from it and move on."
Against the Cardinals, the Texans threw for 98 yards and ran for 90. It was their worst preseason performance since a 38-3 loss at Pittsburgh in 2004. They bounced back that season to finish 7-9.
NFL Team Report - Houston Texans - NOTES, QUOTES
--The Atlanta Falcons traveled to the Texans' facility Wednesday for the first of two days of joint practices Wednesday.
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