No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud got his first NFL reps in a start for the Texans. He went 2-for-4 for 13 total yards and an interception before coach DeMeco Ryans turned to incumbent starter Davis Mills.
Mills went 9-of-12 for 99 yards and a touchdown before Case Keenum took over under center. While the Carolina Panthers named No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young the starter to open training camp, Ryans still has not named a starter between Stroud and Mills.
On the other sideline, Patriots fans will have to wait at least another week to see how quarterback Mac Jones has adjusted to Bill O’Brien’s new offense.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Thursday’s games, along with the rest of the Week 1 preseason schedule.
NFL preseason games on Thursday, Aug. 10
Texans: C.J. Stroud struggled in his first preseason start, which could allow the quarterback competition with Davis Mills to linger. Stroud played two series and went 2-for-4 for 13 yards with an interception. Mills went 9-for-12 for 99 yards with a touchdown. Stroud appeared to be separating in the competition as coach DeMeco Ryans gave Stroud all the first-team offensive reps in practice as he showed better command of the offense. But in his first NFL action, he was tentative, took a sack and threw an interception that led to a Patriots’ field goal. He didn’t have excellent protection, as he was under pressure on 60% of his dropbacks. On the other hand, Mills led the Texans to their only points of the first half with a touchdown throw to rookie receiver Tank Dell. — DJ Bien-Aime
Next game: vs. Dolphins (4 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 19)
Patriots: On a night that most starters didn’t play, second-round draft pick Keion White turned in an impressive debut. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive end out of Georgia Tech started on the edge and was disruptive and consistently around the ball. He finished with three tackles, including smothering running back Dare Ogunbowale on a loose exchange with quarterback Davis Mills that linebacker Calvin Munson recovered for a turnover. White’s performance, combined with first-round pick Christian Gonzalez starting at cornerback, infuses youth into an already strong defense that returns every player except Devin McCourty. The Patriots lead the NFL in terms of defensive retention. — Mike Reiss
Next game: at Packers (8 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 19)