Texans win shootout with Atlanta 53-32


Graphic by Ethan Gullet

Cade Draughon

The Falcons came into the week with a disappointing 1-3 record. Coming off a two-game losing streak, their woes continued as they looked overwhelmed with the task of handling the Texans offense. In their second drive, Matt Ryan showed promise connecting with Mohamed Sanu on a 14-yard touchdown pass set up by a 20-yard catch by Julio Jones to put them in the red zone. Jones looked good in the previous four games, catching four touchdowns with 317 receiving yards. The Texans responded later in the quarter as Deshaun Watson connected with Will Fuller on a six-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone tying the game at seven. The game continued to be a shootout as both teams scored over 30 points as the Texans scored five touchdowns in the second half to take the lead.

The final score: 53-32

Players of the Game: Will Fuller and Deshaun Watson

The result of the game was unexpected. Scoring 53 points in an NFL game is no easy task. Through the first four games, the Texans have relied on the strength of their defense and the dynamic playmaking of Watson to put them in the best position to win. Watson proved he can be reliable this week with 426 passing yards and five passing touchdowns as the passing game was clicking on all cylinders. Fuller recorded an impressive day with 217 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns, accounting for a large majority of the targets from Watson’s impressive passing performance. To overtake the Falcons, the scoring of Watson and Fuller proved to be crucial. It was fun to watch those two connect so fluently. As the season goes on, Deandre Hopkins will take attention off targets like Fuller giving him a more important role in the offense and added pressure to step up and deliver. If Fuller continues to produce, NFL defenses will have a hard time containing the high-powered Texans offense.

Defensively, the Texans looked shaky giving up 32 points and seemed to have no answer for the Falcons passing game. They shut down the running game but allowed Ryan to pick them apart at times. The Falcons were able to produce even without constantly targeting Jones, by getting players like Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper involved. The Texans defense has been up and down the season showing great potential but seems to have issues covering in the secondary. Safety Jahleel Addae led the entire team in tackles with 11. The team seemed to let Ryan have too much comfort in the pocket only coming up with two team sacks, one by J.J. Watt and one by D.J. Reader. With Jadeveon Clowney no longer on the team, the pass rush will be an emphasis for the future as players will have to step into bigger roles and help Watt generate pressure for the opposing team’s quarterback. So far, the defense has allowed 30, 12, 20 and 16 points this season. The Texans’ opponents this season have a combined record of 11-9 proving that their competition has had a winning record. The team has held its own with a 3-2 record playing tough opponents such as the Saints and Panthers. Next week will prove to be a tough matchup.

This upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be extremely important for the Texans. The Chiefs are one of the contenders for the Super Bowl this year, so this matchup will show how ready the Texans are to become a contender. With a successful head coach in Andy Reid, the former MVP Patrick Mahomes, and a plethora of wideouts and offensive weapons, the Texans will need to play a perfect game plan to keep up with the opposing offense. With Tyreek Hill’s injury status unknown, the other Chiefs wideouts n need to be respected. Rookie Mecole Hardman and tight end Travis Kelce have been putting on a show all season with their incredible ability to shake defenders and make a move after the catch. Hardman has 12 catches for 246 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns and has incredible speed running a 4.33 40-yard dash. Mahomes’ ability to throw the ball at any angle makes it hard for opposing defenses to cover their explosive offensive weapons as more times than not he will throw them open even if they are covered. The Chief’s defense however could be the key to beating them as they have given up more than 26 points three times this season. The Texans shouldn’t have problems scoring but the real test is keeping up with Kansas City’s offense. Sunday’s game will prove to be a shootout as both teams have a high-powered offense. This game will be generally close, but if the Texans cannot dial it in on defense, the Chiefs will run the score up. Unless, the secondary comes to play and Watson plays mistake-free football, the Chiefs will prevail.

Kansas City. 38-24 in Week 6