The Houston Texans snagged their fourth win of the year as they defeated the Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving by a 41-25 score ... leaving us with lots of room on our plate for 11 Takes ...
11. The Texans struggled with a slightly more talented and aggressive pass rush this week. New England was content to lightly rush and force Deshaun Watson to beat them. The Lions sent pressure and brought it from different places. It worked too, disrupting the Texans early.
Deshaun Watson would use his movement to keep the rush at bay as the game went on and then the offensive line settled in.
Said Watson, who would go on to achieve big numbers (see below): "I picked my spots. Will (Fuller) did a good job of capitalizing, too.''
10. The Texans secondary was fooled badly on the opening drive by a gadget play. The Lions ended up getting the ball to tight end T.J. Hockenson who was wide open after a reverse and pitch back to Mattew Stafford. Moments later Bradley Roby would commit a pass interference and then the Lions would punch it in for a rushing score.
The secondary gets lost a few times each week due to play action or misdirection. There just isn't a lot of talent there. Play action just eats them alive. In a neutral game script the Texans have a tough time.
9. J.J. Watt hauled in his third career interception and like his previous two took it in to the end zone for a score.
It was his first touchdown since 2014. It came just a few days after his performance against the Patriots where he had four pass deflections. Watt still has plenty of juice in his game.
Said Watt: "I knew it was a pass, we had a blitz on, I saw he was going to throw quickly, I jumped up, it hit me square in the hands, spun out and ran to the end zone.''
Said Watson: "I picked my spots. Will (Fuller) did a good job of capitalizing, too.''
8. Turnovers come in bunches and that's no secret. Tyrell Adams has settled into this role nicely as the inside linebacker next to Zach Cunningham. Adams played very well the past couple of weeks and against the Lions, he jarred loose the football from a Detroit running back.
Bradley Roby jumped on the ball for back-to-back turnovers. Deshaun Watson would try to hit a couple of big plays but settle for a dump off to Duke Johnson and a play that earn a pass interference. C.J. Prosise would get the touchdown pass from Watson to turn the turnover into points.
7. The Texans began the day with five takeaways on the year. A few moments into the second quarter they had three with Watt's interception and two forced fumbles by Tyrell Adams.
The second fumble was given on a review where, again, Tyrell Adams knocked the ball loose.
The very next play the Texans would give it right back on a handoff to C.J. Prosise who fumbled. Duke Johnson wasn't injured but the Texans decided in a quick change to run with the backup running back.
This team should rarely take the ball out of Watson's hands, especially when taking over after a surprise turnover.
6. The Lions had a lengthy and methodical touchdown drive that would've broken the Texans earlier in the season. This game though the defense held to force a field goal.
The Lions may have outsmarted themselves with this drive though. They ran the ball nine straight times for positive yards before electing to throw the ball and ended up with the field goal. Ultimately half the third quarter went to just three points for the Lions thanks to the defense of the Texans.
To the credit of the Texans, they had a decent ensuing drive so the defense wasn't right back on the field. Houston also got the field goal back.
5. The Texans defense settled into what it ideally was supposed to be this season. It was supposed to be bend-don't-break and it has turned into that late in the season. Unfortunately, the level of teams played early in the year kept them from being able to do that before having a lot of losses on the schedule.
4. When the Texans had the chance to put the Lions away - and advance to 4-7 with a second straight win - they did. Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller along with the rest of the offense finished a depleted and weak Lions team. This team was rarely capable of doing this. Far too often the offense would have been punting or settling for multiple field goals, but not this game.
3. Will Fuller again was incredible for the Texans. It is almost like clockwork him and Watson connecting for a big play and this week it is a big score making their ever-growing connection look easy.
Fuller is every bit a No. 1 wide receiver when healthy and he has been healthy all year.
2. It can't be stated enough about Watson taking his game to the next level this season. The ultimate outcome from the season may have been disappointing but Watson is playing at a level that is the best we have seen - and still getting better.
He had another humungous game with four touchdown passes for the seventh time in his career.
1. The Texans have a very Happy Thanksgiving this year despite the struggles of the 2020 season. Most importantly the franchise and its fans can be thankful Deshaun Watson is under center. ... and everywhere else his elusiveness takes him.