NFL Preseason 2014 Preview: Houston Texans vs. Arizona Cardinals

By Keith Alrick
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Getty Images

The best part about the preseason is typically watching the top rookies get their first taste of the NFL, and that is what makes the injury to top pick Jadeveon Clowney all the more disappointing.

Clowney is among a handful of injured Houston Texans likely to miss Saturday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Arian Foster and Andre Johnson are also expected to sit out the first game.

Despite the absence of the big names, there will still be things to watch for with Houston. The biggest thing to watch for is the quarterback situation. It appears that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starter, but the battle between Case Keenum and Tom Savage is still close for the backup quarterback. For many fans, Saturday night will be the first glimpse at Savage playing football. He has only played in 13 college games since 2010.

It will also be the first time for Houston fans to witness new head coach Bill O’Brien. His hire has most fans excited about the offense, but don’t expect him to throw out anything too exotic, being that it’s the first preseason game.

The Cardinals come into this game much healthier than the Texans. It should be a business as usual preseason Week 1 for them. Carson Palmer will probably only get a series since he gets hit enough during the regular season.

The reason for why Palmer gets hit so often is the biggest area to watch. The offensive line has looked much-improved in training camp, but that is just training camp. Newly acquired left tackle Jared Veldheer will be making his Cardinals debut and should provide some stability on the line.

2013 first-round pick Jonathan Cooper will be the player to watch. He missed all of last season after breaking his left leg. He is currently in a battle for the starting left guard spot. I think Arizona would love to see him win the job, but he will need to show them more than he has in training camp.

Overall, both team’s goal in this game will be to avoid any injuries. With that in mind, why do they play four of these games?

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