Houston Texans gobble up Lions on Thanksgiving Day
By Pavithr Goli
The Houston Texans have won three of their past four games.
The Houston Texans played some of their best football this season in their national matchup against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving afternoon. Both sides of the ball were very balanced and strong as the Texans defeated the Lions, 41-25.
Deshaun Watson and the offense posted strong numbers as the game went, while the Texans defense set a strong tone early on, sending a message that they were not going to back down easily.
Watson produced another impeccable performance to add to his strong play thus far in the season. He completed 17-of-25 pass attempts as he accumulated 318 yards through the air and 24 yards on the ground. Watson accounted for four passing touchdowns and did not throw any interceptions for the sixth game in a row. Watson also notched a 150.4 quarterback rating, which is a near-perfect quarterback rating.
The passing game was immaculate with Will Fuller making headlines as he filled the highlight reel with his six receptions, 171 yards, and two touchdowns scored on the day, including a touchdown score on an incredible trick play.
Brandin Cooks and Duke Johnson also played important roles in furthering the Houston Texans’ performance. Cooks totaled five receptions for 85 yards, while Johnson caught three passes for 43 yards and also scored a touchdown.
Duke Johnson had a decent game on the ground as he ran for 37 yards on nine carries, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. This is encouraging as Johnson had not been performing well on the ground the last couple of weeks and, hopefully, this shows a change in Johnson’s output.
In the last three weeks prior to this game, Johnson had been averaging a paltry 1.5, 3.8, and 2.6 yards per carry. Johnson’s increase in production this afternoon was strong.
C.J. Prosise, who was promoted from the practice squad to the roster two weeks ago to mainly serve as Johnson’s backup, received five carries and ran 12 yards while also catching a touchdown from Watson.
Although Prosise fumbled the ball early in the game, Prosise showed some promise and his positive performance could be an indication that he could be a more featured part of the offense in the future.
Houston Texans News: Defense plays a strong game as well
One of the biggest surprises for the Houston Texans was their strong defense. The Texans’ defense came in very hot as they forced three turnovers in the Lions’ first four drives. J.J. Watt started the turnover party with a pick-six on the Lions’ second drive. Watt tipped a low pass by Stafford, caught it, and ran 19 yards into the end zone for his sixth career touchdown and second pick-six.
On the next offensive snap by the Lions, linebacker Tyrell Adams forced a fumble by knocking the ball out of running back Jonathan Williams‘s hands. After the Texans regained possession, they scored a touchdown with a short 2-yard pass from Deshaun Watson to Prosise. On the next Lions drive, Adams, once again, forced Kerryon Johnson to fumble the ball.
Adams had a very memorable game as he not only notched two forced fumbles but also totaled 17 total tackles with 14 solo and three combined tackles. Furthermore, both Zach Cunningham and Justin Reid had stellar performances as Cunningham had nine total tackles and Reid had one sack.
Both of those players were under heavy criticism for their poor performances throughout the first half of the season but they have seemingly turned a corner as they registered strong, shutdown performances in the last couple of games.
The Texans’ defense played well enough to stymie Detroit and allow the offense to gain a comfortable lead over the Lions. Although they could have played better, the Houston Texans only allowed 109 rushing yards, which is far lower than their season average of allowing 159.3 yards per game (which is ranked last in the league) and also let in two rushing scores.
Furthermore, the team allowed 295 passing yards while allowing one touchdown through the air and forced an interception. However, the Texans allowed plenty of passing yards during garbage time as the Lions tried to play catch-up.
During the most important points in the game, though, the Texans’ passing defense held tight and hindered the Lions’ offense.