It’s a week 3 road victory for the Houston Texans after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 27-20. The Texans were down 10 points (17-7) going into halftime but found a way to charge ahead in the final 2 quarters.
An early miscalculation by Texans QB Deshaun Watson led to a fumble that three plays later, converted into a touchdown for the Chargers. Watson quickly found his rhythm and he ended the game with a 135.8 passer rating, three touchdowns, and completed 25/34 for 351 yards.
Watson assessed the game saying, “It was great. It was a great team win. We made adjustments at halftime, and that’s the beauty about this team. We fight 60 minutes. We learned from what we did Week 1 against the Saints. We played 59 minutes and some change. After that, last week, we played 60 minutes. This week we played 60 minutes, and that’s the beauty of it. That’s the NFL. Every game is going to be tight. Every game is going to be close. This is a good conference win against a great team on the road, so [we] can definitely build on this.”
Texans tight end Jordan Akins set a career high for his single game efforts, managing to gain 73 yards by catching three passes. These catches turned into two touchdowns in the third quarter. Akins found his way into the end zone for both a 53-yard and a 15-yard touchdown.
“Deshaun started scrambling and, as usual, the play is never dead,” Akins recalled. “He got me the ball and I used my legs to get to the end zone.”
In past games, the tight ends have been utilized for blocking purposes but in the game against the Chargers, the tight ends showed that there is much more to their game.
“Any way to win the game, to utilize our skill sets,” Akins said. “We’re more than just blockers. We can make plays down the field as well as use our legs to create first downs and touchdowns.”
In the second quarter, another tight end, Darren Fells, caught a touchdown.
“It doesn’t happen too much for blocking tight ends,” Fells explained. “You’ve got to make plays when you’re needed. That’s always been my philosophy. Whatever the coaches want. I pride myself on being a team player. Me and Akins making plays, it’s pretty awesome.”
One of the bigger concerns about moves made off-season was how the absence of Jadeveon Clowney would affect the defense. In the Chargers game, the defense was particularly effective. Whitney Mercilus has been pivotal in shifting the momentum of the game with forced fumbles. His disruptive play continued against the Chargers. Mercilus managed to sack Charger QB Philip Rivers and forced a fumble. That turnover ultimately turned into a touchdown.
JJ Watt had a great game with two sacks, a couple tackles for loss and five hits on the QB. The defense collectively recorded five sacks, seven tackles for loss and a dozen QB hits.
Watt explained the turnaround in the second half saying, “We kind of settled in. Up front, we kind of fell into a pass rushing pattern that we were comfortable with. We have four guys up front rushing, we were comfortable and knew what each other were going to do and could communicate with each other. I think when you let those four guys go eat, that’s when you see the results. We can set up some plans, set up some things we can work on. You can get into a rhythm that way. I think we got into a really nice rhythm in the second half.”
The Texans are now 2-1 on the season and every game so far has been a bit of a nail biter with the team fighting until the clock runs out . Coach Bill O’Brien addressed this post-game saying, “We practice it. We work it all the time, we talk about it, we work situations all the time. Our guys are really tuned in. I thought our poise was really good. Our poise has been good all year. Our poise on the sideline has been really good, our players have been poised. I think that’s because of all the work the players put into practice for these situations. So far, it’s led to 2-1 and hopefully we can keep getting better.”