NFL News & Analysis

CHI-HOU grades: Osweiler plays very well in Texans debut

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Will Fuller #15 of the Houston Texans celebrates with Brock Osweiler #17 after an 18 yard touchdown reception inthe fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at NRG Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Houston Texans 23, Chicago Bears 14

Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Houston Texans' 23-14 season-opening victory over the Chicago Bears.

Houston Texans

Quarterback grade: Brock Osweiler, 84.5 

Osweiler takes a big first step

This was the moment Brock Osweiler had been waiting for as the unquestioned starting quarterback of an NFL team, and he didn’t disappoint. Osweiler was very effective in the short and intermediate ranges of the field, completing 18 of 25 passes targeted between 0-19 yards downfield.

Top offensive grades:

RT Derek Newton, 83.9

WR Will Fuller, 77.2

WR DeAndre Hopkins, 76.6

FB Jay Prosch, 74.4

C Greg Mancz, 73.9

Fuller has a very strong debut

Rookie wide receiver Will Fuller was drafted to bring a deep speed element to the Texans’ offense, and he did just that in his first NFL game. Fuller was targeted six times with throws 20 or more yards downfield, and he led the Texans in targets, catches and yards in his first game. He also took a screen pass to the house, showcasing his speed and open-field running ability.

Top defensive grades:

LB Max Bullough, 81.5

ED Whitney Mercilus, 79.4

CB Johnathan Joseph, 78.8

CB A.J. Bouye, 78.0

LB Benardrick McKinney 77.4

Linebackers help lead the Texans to victory

OLB Whitney Mercilus had two sacks and two hurries on 29 pass rushes against the Bears. Sadly, linebacker Brian Cushing is lost for some time with a knee injury, but ILB Max Bullough played very well in his place and had three defensive stops.

Chicago Bears

Quarterback grade: Jay Cutler, 78.4

Cutler puts together a solid performance in loss

Bears fans shouldn't pin this loss on Jay Cutler. He threw the ball well deep, as he connected on three of his five passes targeted 20 or more yards downfield. Cutler didn’t handle the blitz well against the Texans, however, as his QB rating dropped down to an awful 42.6 when he was facing a blitz.

Top offensive grades:

RG Kyle Long, 82.4

LG Josh Sitton, 78.0

WR Eddie Royal, 74.4

WR Alshon Jeffery, 70.9

TE Logan Paulsen, 69.8

Recently signed guard Sitton already making a positive impact

When Josh Sitton was let go by the Packers just before the start of the 2016 season, the Bears quickly snatched him up and thrust him into their starting lineup for Week 1. The starting guard combination of Sitton and Kyle Long only allowed one QB hurry on 37 pass-block snaps.

Top defensive grades:

LB Jerrell Freeman, 87.8

LB Danny Trevathan, 83.2

CB Jacoby Glenn, 79.5

CB Bryce Callahan, 79.2

S Adrian Amos, 78.9

Linebackers pace the Bears’ defense

The Bears linebacker corps looked fast and athletic in Week 1, with Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman and Leonard Floyd running all over the place making plays. Freeman had one hurry and eight run stops. Trevathan had one sack, one hurry and eight run stops. The rookie Floyd added a sack and a hurry in his first game.

Get access to grades for every player, complete with positional rankings, in our Player Grades tool.

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