Deshaun Watson has Promising Preseason Debut for Houston Texans

JJ Watt will play in Texans' preseason opener

There is no way to simulate actual National Football League action, and many have impressed in the preseason while completely faltering when the season began.

But it was a strong showing for Carolina's defensive starters.

Not overweight as was the case during offseason workouts when there were reports he was in the 260- to 270-pound range instead of his current 243.

In the Panthers' preseason opener against the Texans on Wednesday, the receiver caught four passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns - helping Carolina cruise to a 27-17 win.

Anderson started in place of Cam Newton, who was sidelined as he continues to recover from a sore shoulder.

However, the Texans responded with a touchdown of their own on the very next drive against the second-team defense of the Panthers.

Quarterback Cam Newton threw for 3,509 yards and 19 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. He has command of this evolving offense. Duane Brown should be the left tackle when the season starts, but he has yet to report to practice due to a contract dispute.

Byrd had a 16-yard reception and a 31-yard kickoff return against the Bucs - a relatively small contribution that was big for his confidence.

As I discussed in a weekend camp-observations feature, after seeing the Browns' first practice in pads a week earlier, Osweiler should be outperforming the other three passers, all of whom were in college when Osweiler threw his last pass as a Bronco. This group had a sack and a couple of quarterback pressures.

Kelvin Benjamin: His catch on the Panthers' first offensive play was accompanied by a nifty move to get loose followed by a stiff-arm that gained him extra yardage.

Watson finished the night going 15-for-25 passing for 179 yards with zero turnovers and had three rushes for 24 yards including an impressive 15-yard touchdown run. He appeared able to put good weight on it before being taken to the locker room.

The only real concern about Wednesday's loss to the Panthers is just how bad the first-team offense looked. "You'd never know he was a rookie". He didn't make those wow plays that has earned so much praise in training camp. That may have been it for the starters, but it was more than enough to prove a point. He'll also be placed in more one-on-one situations in which he can use that juke that has made Carolina linebackers look silly.

Panthers: Christian McCaffrey had 33 yards on seven carries in his rookie debut.

With Samuel out, Byrd received more reps at Wofford - and made the majority.

"Definitely. The amusing thing is you never really see that orange until they win a national championship", said Byrd, who pointed out he only lost to Clemson once. Despite being the fastest player at South Carolina, Byrd was always the second or third receiving option for the Gamecocks. During the second possession of the fourth quarter, Foreman showed his explosive ability breaking off this 41 yard run to highlight his night.

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