Tagovailoa leads TD drive in preseason debut to help Dolphins over Texans 28-3 – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

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HOUSTON (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa was intercepted on his first play of the preseason Saturday for the Miami Dolphins against the Houston Texans.

His second drive went much better.

Playing in his first game since sustaining a concussion on Christmas Day, Tagovailoa led a 14-play, 93-yard drive capped by a 2-yard scoring run by Raheem Mostert to give the Dolphins an early lead in a 28-3 win Saturday.

Tagovailoa sat down after that, ending his day 5 of 7 for 61 yards for the Dolphins (1-1).

Houston rookie C.J. Stroud was much sharper Saturday than he was in his NFL debut last week when he was picked off on his first possession and finished with 13 yards passing on two drives. Playing the entire first half Saturday, the second overall pick was 7 of 12 for 60 yards and helped the Texans (1-1) to a field goal on his second drive.

He had five straight completions on that drive, highlighted by a 14-yard throw on the run to Noah Brown. Stroud hasn’t yet been announced as the team’s starter. But he has started both preseason games and works almost exclusively with the first team in practice, making it seem increasingly likely that he’ll replace Davis Mills this season.

While Stroud showed improvement Saturday, perhaps the biggest play of the day for Houston came early in the second quarter by defensive end Will Anderson Jr., who was taken third in this year’s draft.

Anderson came off the line unblocked and plowed over running back Salvon Ahmed to sack Skylar Thompson for an 11-yard loss and force a fumble. Thompson quickly jumped on the ball to get it back.

Anderson, who had 58 1/2 tackles for losses and 34 1/2 sacks in three seasons for Alabama, is expected to help improve a defense that has struggled to get to the quarterback in recent years.

That drive ended in a punt for Miami, but Thompson got going after that, throwing two touchdown passes in the second quarter to make it 21-3 at the half.

Ahmed scored the first one on an 8-yard reception before Thompson connected with Braxton Berrios on an 18-yard score. That touchdown was set up by a 65-yard run by Ahmed three plays earlier.

Tagovailoa was picked off on the first play of the game by Denzel Perryman, who returned it 19 yards. The Texans couldn’t capitalize on the turnover as Stroud was called for a delay of game on third down from the 1 and his pass on fourth down fell incomplete.

Thompson’s third touchdown pass came on an 18-yard throw to undrafted free agent rookie Chris Brooks that made it 28-3 late in the third quarter.

Thompson threw for 157 yards.

INJURIES

Miami rookie De’Von Achane was carted off the field in the third quarter with an injury. It was unclear what he injured. The former Texas A&M star, who was drafted in the third round, had six carries for 27 yards.

WHERE’S THE RUN DEFENSE

Houston’s defense, which ranked 32nd in the NFL in run defense last season, continued to struggle in that area Saturday. The Texans allowed 205 yards rushing, led by Ahmed, who had 99 and Brooks with 47.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: End the preseason with a visit to Jacksonville next Saturday night.

Texans: Wrap up the preseason at New Orleans Aug. 27.

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