Los Angeles travels to Houston this week for its 2019 preseason finale. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT Thursday.
In advance of the contest, here’s an early look at the Texans, including how their preseason has gone so far, some of their top statistical performers and key storylines.
HOW THEIR PRESEASON HAS GONE SO FAR
Up until last Saturday’s 34-0 loss to Dallas, Houston’s first two preseason games had been decided by seven points or less. The loss to the Cowboys moved the Texans to 1-2 heading into the final week of the preseason.
Besides the shutout in Dallas, Houston also fell 28-26 at the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, then defeated the Detroit Lions 30-23 at home in Week 2.
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Denver Broncos in the third preseason game of 2019. Check out the game photos!
A sixth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, QB Joe Webb III has been among the preseason’s top passers from a yardage standpoint.
Webb’s 534 passing yards are second-most through the first through first three weeks of the preseason behind Tampa Bay’s Ryan Griffin. He’s also added 12 carries for 84 yards on the ground.
In addition to his high passing yardage total, Webb has thrown two touchdowns and five interceptions. He completed 8 of 21 pass attempts for 62 yards with a pair of interceptions against the Cowboys.
Defensive back Johanthan Bademosi, entering his eighth season in the NFL, has paced Houston’s defense with 13 total tackles.
EARLY STORYLINES TO WATCH, AND WHAT THEY MEAN FOR THE RAMS
Last week’s dress rehearsal in Arlington saw the Texans lose starting RB Lamar Miller to a season-ending ACL injury. While starters traditionally do not play in the preseason finale, Houston head coach Bill O’Brien likely has more motivation than before to rest his key contributors.
Undrafted free agents Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett have shouldered most of the backfield load to this point. Higdon has 28 carries for 78 yards, Crockett 17 for 83 and one touchdown through three preseason games. They would likely be in line to play against the Rams, but right now their involvement remains unclear.
Houston’s offensive line received a new addition last week with the signing of Christian Dilauro. The University of Illinois product spent training camp with the San Francisco 49ers before getting waived by the club last week, according to multiple reports. Backup right tackle David Steinmetz suffered a season-ending ankle injury which will require surgery, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Dilauro spent time at the position in college, so he appears to be, at least for the preseason finale, Steinmetz’s replacement and a new face to know for Los Angeles’ defensive line.
The common thread here is that these recent developments figure to have the greatest impact on whoever suits up for the Rams on defense Thursday evening.