While there was a preseason game which the Houston Texans won 18-17, handing the Denver Broncos their first loss of the summer, most of the attention went to the dirty hit delivered by D.J. Swearinger on Wes Welker, causing a concussion, which led to Peyton Manning running up to the safety and giving him a nasty piece of his mind.
Welker is no stranger to concussions or big hits, which he sometimes delivers himself. He missed a few games last season due to a similar hit, which is why the Broncos got very angry and the second-year safety who seemed to deliberately hit Welker in the face, although Swearinger insists that he led with his shoulder and the damage occurred because Welker lowered his head at the last moment.
Manning didn’t run up to him right away, but waited until he completed a touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, his first in the preseason from the hands of his new quarterback (Sanders came from the Steelers), and then went to say a few words to Swearinger, which resulted in Manning getting penalized. It didn’t really matter that it was a 15-yard penalty, considering it came five seconds before half time.
Manning threw one interception in the game, as the Broncos finished with two turnovers. Manning did find Sanders for two touchdowns, as he seemed to be focusing quite a lot on his new teammate, finding him five times for 128 yards, targeting him eight times during his run in the game, completing 21-of-27 passes for 243 yards. The interception? Something the Broncos can live with, just like the loss.
The Texans didn’t showcase the full strength of their scary defensive line, but they remain one huge question mark when it comes to their offense and the quarterback position. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t look very impressive (10-of-17, 80 yards) and neither did Case Keenum, completing 11-of-18 passes. In the fourth quarter, it was Tom Savage who won the game for the Texans, completing 5-of-6 passes and finishing with a touchdown pass to Ryan Griffin.
However, this game showed how good the Broncos look on offense at this stage of the preseason, going into the half time break with a 17-7 lead before starting to take players off the field. Manning was sacked once as the Broncos are focusing on trying to improve their offensive line after what happened in the Super Bowl six months ago, but right now there are very few things to be concerned about, unlike the Texans, who won’t go far with this kind of offense.