David Johnson, Will Fuller both bright spots for Texans vs Chiefs

David Johnson #31 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
David Johnson #31 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs wasn’t pretty, but a silver lining can be found in the performances of David Johnson and Will Fuller.

In what was mostly a forgettable performance by the Houston Texans in their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, David Johnson and Will Fuller still both had strong games — and fans should find some solace and encouragement in their respective performances.

Yes, it was only one game. And yes, this season is still just barely getting started.

But if Johnson and Fuller can replicate some of the success they had against the Chiefs in future games — and especially if they can maintain that offensive output and pace across a full 16-game season (and beyond) — the Texans just might be significantly better off this season than they were last year.

While the 2020 Texans season is sure to be judged primarily through the lens of the DeAndre Hopkins trade, it’s at least encouraging to see the main player Houston received in that trade looking like he could be a star.

Johnson showed flashes of his old 2016 self, slicing and dicing the Chiefs defense in the game to the tune of 77 yards on 11 carries (7.0 yards per rush average). He was also a weapon in the receiving game, catching three of four targets for 32 yards. “DJ” finished the night as Houston’s No. 3 receiver in total yardage behind Will Fuller and Jordan Akins.

On what was also a forgettable night for the new Texans wide receivers — Brandin Cooks had just two catches for 20 yards and Randall Cobb had two for 23 — Fuller was dynamic… and he perhaps showed he’s capable of filling in for Hopkins as Deshaun Watson’s new WR1. Fuller’s final stat-line on the night read eight catches on 10 targets for 112 yards.

Combined, Johnson and Fuller were responsible for 221 of Houston’s 371 total yards of offense. Mathematically-speaking, that means these two weapons were responsible for just under 60% of the Texans’ yards on offense.

David Johnson and Will Fuller didn’t get much help from around the offense

Does Houston need more from other players? Absolutely.

Veteran Kenny Stills had zero catches. Duke Johnson had five rushes for 14 yards, no catches, and got himself injured. The Texans offensive line allowed Watson to get sacked four times on the night, and right tackle Tytus Howard was particularly dreadful against Frank Clark on the right end.

But the Texans could (and should) be encouraged by what they saw from two of their biggest “question mark” players on offense this season. Both Johnson and Fuller have battled their fair share of detractors in recent years — mainly because of their injury histories.

Texans struggle in poor start to 2020 season. dark. Next

If both players can build off their Week 1 performances, these two stars have a real chance to rewrite the current existing narrative about them as players.