Film Study: Texans vs Falcons second half observations
By Aarik Long
The Houston Texans trailed 17-16 at halftime, but came back for a huge 53-32 win over the Atlanta Falcons. It was a dominant second half, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
We’ll start about a minute into the second half in this Houston Texans film breakdown. On a third-and-4 play, Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense are able to draw to two different Atlanta Falcons offside.
That would have been enough for the first down, but Watson capitalized on the free play and found Keke Coutee downfield for a 51-yard pickup.
Houston could have easily settled for the first down, but Coutee ran a great route and Watson made a great read-and-throw to pick up much more than those five yards.
Then, with about 6:30 left in the third quarter, the Falcons faced a third-and-3. The Houston Texans brought a hard four-man pressure, while also covering everyone downfield. Matt Ryan had nowhere to go with the ball, and had no time to wait for something to open up. DJ Reader ended up recording the sack, his second solo sack of the season.
Another example of the offensive line’s great game this past week. They give Watson plenty of time to make his reads before the quarterback finds DeAndre Hopkins across the middle of the field.
This was a good pass, but it left Hopkins exposed with two defenders in the area. That didn’t faze one of the best receivers in the league and Texans’ history. Hopkins breaks the tackles and picks up 29 yards.
The second to last score from the Texans came right after the 2:00 warning, and it is my favorite play of the game. There are three beautiful aspects to watch with this play.
The first time through, watch the offensive line. The pressure is contained and Watson is kept upright and protected for the whole play.
For the second time through, watch Will Fuller‘s route. Fuller goes about five yards upfield, cuts toward the sideline, and then cuts back upfield after just a couple of steps. The defensive back had no chance and got toasted on the play.
Finally, on your third viewing, actually watch the throw. Watson hits Fuller in stride allowing the receiver to finish his play and score his third touchdown of the game.
The second half was definitely in Houston’s favor. The offense was ticking. Watson and Fuller both had career days. The defense stepped up and kept a pretty good Falcons offense from turning this game into a full-on shootout.
Everything you saw from the Texans was promising. Now, Houston will have to head into Kansas City and face a very good Chiefs team in front of a very loud crowd and do it all again.