In a November game that was about as close as you can get to a must-win this early, the Texans pulled out the victory. On Thursday night the Houston Texans beat the Colts 20-17 in a back and forth contest. The Texans were bolstered by the return of Will Fuller and Laremy Tunsil. With the win, the Texans moved back to first place in the AFC South.
Will Fuller is no doubt the key to the Texans being an elite offense. No doubt Hopkins is the first option but Fuller takes a lot of pressure off Hopkins on the outside. Fuller is the one wide receiver on the team who can stretch the field. There isn’t a corner in the league who can consistently run with Fuller.
Fuller returned to the lineup Thursday and promptly went for seven catches and 140 yards. More importantly, it kept the Colts from being able to double team Hopkins every pass play. Fuller has improved his route running leaps and bounds and it was on full display in the win.
If Fuller can stay healthy, and that’s is a big IF, the Texans offense can be top-five in the NFL.
Deandre Hopkins is the unquestioned leader of the Texans receiving core and vs the Colts he had his best game of the season. Hopkins finished with six catches 94 yards and two touchdowns. With Fuller back he found himself running routes against single coverage a lot more often in this game. Hopkins, of course, made one of his signature toe-tapping catches on the sideline.
Hopkins’s ability to beat zone, press or whatever defense the Colts ran at him showed that last year’s playoff disappointment was from injury, not anything the Colts were doing.
The Houston Texans Defense
The Houston Texans defense was thrashed last game against the Ravens giving up almost 500 yards in total offense. In this game, they had moments when the Colts were able to run the ball straight up the middle eventually running for 175 yards. The difference this game is the Texans bent, but didn’t break. Jacoby Brissett only finished with 129 yards passing. Noted Texans killer T.Y. Hilton returned this game but did not wreak havoc like he normally does at NRG Stadium. For a banged-up secondary, this was definitely a strong performance.
Next week: The Patriots
This was a good win. The win helps the Texans take control of the division, but let’s be honest, it’s all about the big picture for the Texans. Next week they face off against the Patriots a team that Bill O’Brien has never beaten. For the Texans to be taken seriously they have to beat teams like the Ravens and Patriots because more than likely they will see them again in January.