Deshaun Watson has received many a fight for the Houston Texans and, thanks to the fellows flanking him on either aspect, Week 12 produced but one other victory. And the timing might perhaps per chance well now not had been more most spirited.
With tackle watch over of the AFC South putting within the steadiness, receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, making his triumphant return after lacking the closing three games, torched the Indianapolis Colts (6-5) to propel the Texans (7-4) to a salvage and sole possession of first articulate within the division.
Hopkins and Fuller are the cream of the cleave of Houston’s receiving corps and, with the stakes as high as they had been coming in, or no longer it’s most efficient fitting that they rose to the occasion. Colts corners Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore did all they might perhaps per chance simply to enjoy the dynamic tandem nonetheless it was to no avail: Hopkins caught six passes (eight targets) for 94 yards and two touchdowns while Fuller went off for 140 yards on seven catches (11 targets).
“It helps me out so much. Him being a fellow receiver, having a urge man love Will Fuller. It takes the rigidity off of me,” Hopkins said on “TNF Postgame” on NFL Network. “They got to head man more than they are trying to and likewise you seen the of that currently.”
Adore Hopkins said, “TNF” was a stout-on exhibition of what happens when the Texans combine the hazard that is Fuller’s urge with Hop’s toughness. It was bewildering as soon as in some time to survey magnificent how powerful separation every had been in a living to scheme in their one-on-one matchups and how the Colts safeties offered minute to no succor over the high.
Hopkins’ two scores came magnificent off the strength of him simply beating the coverage, one thing Watson touched on after the game.
“To get hang of to give the Colts the credit rating. They did a correct job of containing and trying to double and switch up the appears to be like but [DeAndre Hopkins] did a hell of a job to shut down with these two touchdowns,” Watson said. “To get hang of to give him that credit rating. He often checked to these plays and I was on the identical page with him.”
Fuller additionally lobbed reward Hopkins’ formulation, speaking on the massive title wideout’s game-changing ability in a humble, “I’m magnificent trying to salvage much like you” more or much less formulation.
“The second touchdown, I magnificent walked to him and said, ‘I’m no longer even going to have an very honest appropriate time because that’s what I ask.’ Hop’s essentially the most efficient receiver within the game,” he said. “That is what I ask from Hop. He’s gonna be constant. You search for his numbers yearly. That is what you are gonna salvage from Hop.”
Surprisingly, this was most efficient Hopkins’ second multi-TD time out of 2019 but his gravity has aloof impacted several games, much like Fuller’s 217-yard day in Week 5. No longer just like the Falcons who mostly held Hopkins in consult with double teams, the Colts gave up plentiful chunk plays so much of times to every.
In step with Subsequent Gen Stats, Watson was 4-of-4 on passes that traveled 30-plus air yards, racking up 160 yards and the two TDs. His most spirited deep-ball day counts for essentially the most completions of 30-plus air yards with out an incompletion of any QB in a game since 2016. Oh and, as you might perhaps per chance well also’ve found out, all four went to either Hopkins or Fuller.
Subsequent Gen Stats additionally confirmed that the 51-yard third-quarter completion between Watson and Fuller is the third-longest by air distance this season (59.4 yards). Fuller’s presence has influenced Watson to throw deep more than twice as usually than when he is no longer within the lineup (18 percent when Fuller’s readily available, 8 percent when he is no longer).
“He magnificent opens up moderately a few various issues. His urge, route-running, you’ve got to respect him,” Watson said of Fuller’s return. “Correct him and his addition and spirited Kenny [Stills] spherical, having these guys, I indicate, these three are essentially the most efficient trio within the league. When these guys are playing on a high stage, it makes my job so much more straightforward and it was correct to survey him succor in circulation and salvage some nice catches for us.”
Fuller hammered home that very same level, announcing, “Correct trying to place bother within the DB’s coronary heart. Correct running my route no longer easy every chance I got. When Deshaun throws me the ball, that have confidence in actual fact gets me going too, so magnificent got to abet it going.”
Having lost three of the closing four meetings in opposition to the Colts, including the Week 7 matchup in Indy that Fuller was injured in, the Texans desperately wished to salvage a leg up on their division foe. Hopkins suggested Thursday’s showing has implications that lengthen beyond the AFC South speed.
“A form of playoff teams, they turn out playing in January. They got that one-two punch, I in actual fact feel much like you bought to have that one-two punch,” he said. “I’m no longer the fastest but I salvage issues happen but Will is a speedster, man. The mixture between Will and myself, I don’t in actual fact feel love many secondaries can matchup properly in opposition to that.”
The Texans’ subsequent take a look at comes in 10 days when the mighty Patriots (9-1) consult with Houston. If Hopkins’ proclamation is to be believed, there is doubtlessly no higher measuring stick within the NFL to head up in opposition to.