The Houston Texans silenced their critics Sunday with a 57-14 win at home over the Tennessee Titans. Any concerns of last Sunday’s performance against the New England Patriots being a fluke are now out the window. Houston has made quite the turnaround from the relatively flat performances to start the season.
Offensively the Texans were firing on all cylinders as they scored six touchdowns on offense. Deshaun Watson completed 25 of 34 passes for 283 yards, four touchdowns and one interception while adding 24 yards rushing and one touchdown on four attempts. Watson was able to fully display the reason that Houston traded up to get him in the NFL Draft. A dynamic playmaker in college, it appears Watson is able to make the same plays in the NFL that he was able to make in college.
Wide receiver Will Fuller was able to make in an impact in his first game back as he caught four passes for 35 yards and two touchdowns. Fuller was able to step up when the Texans desperately needed it. The wide receivers outside of DeAndre Hopkins have not yet been able to make a sizable impact. Bruce Ellington was able to contribute but not to the level that Fuller can.
Lamar Miller is still finding his way in this offense as he is still seemingly unable to average more than four yards per carry. Miller rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. Miller also caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Miller has been able to be a presence in the passing game and it is benefitting Watson. Watson needs every weapon he can get and Miller has been able to step up with the absence of reliable wide receivers.
Defensively the Texans were able to force five turnovers and smother the Titans offense. The defense racked up two sacks, six pass defenses and three quarterback hits. Tennessee was only able to manage 195 yards offensively and only scored two touchdowns early courtesy of Marcus Mariota on the ground.
Tennessee was smothered offensively from the start of the game and things only got worse when Mariota left with an injury. Houston was able to contain the offensive playmakers for Tennessee and force them to abandon their game plan. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry combined for 38 yards on 13 carries. Delanie Walker and Richard Matthews combined for six receptions and 100 yards, this was all but 17 yards receiving for Tennessee. Houston finally lived up to their defensive potential and should be able to continue their dominance moving forward.
Houston outplayed Tennessee in all facets of the game and appear to be a completely different team compared to week one. The Texans are prepared to defend their AFC South crown and continue to dominate the division. Houston hosts Kansas City next week which should provide some clarity to how good the team actually is. They will find out if they are truly a contender or a team that is still short of making a real playoff run.