When I was in my early 20s, a good friend and I were walking to an event and I realized he wasn’t with me anymore. I stopped and turned around, and he was literally smelling some roses in someone’s front yard. He laughed and said, “I’ve always heard you should stop and smell the roses, so I did.”
While it’s almost a cliche for a coach to say, “It’s time to turn the page and focus on (fill in next opponent),” games like the Falcons versus Texans don’t seem to come along often enough that Texans fans should heed that call. So, like my friend did, it’s time for all of us to stop and smell the victory.
In fact, based on Houston’s up and down nature since Bill O’Brien took over, odds are the team won’t have another one like this one for quite some time, so get a good whiff. With that in mind, let’s just camp out under all the glory of last Sunday’s match-up.
NFL 100th Season Celebration Newsletter:
Houston quarterback DESHAUN WATSON completed 28 of 33 pass attempts for 426 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, in the Texans’ 53-32 win over Atlanta.
Watson became the first player to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game in NFL history.
Additionally, Houston wide receiver WILL FULLER recorded 14 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He became the fourth player in NFL history to register at least 14 catches, 200 yards and three receiving touchdowns in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (December 18, 1995) and STEVE LARGENT (October 18, 1987), along with JIMMY SMITH (September 10, 2000).
Laremy Tunsil, newly acquired savior of the Texans offensive line, had a front row seat to the wizardry of Deshaun Watson.
“Did you all see the pocket collapse, then he fumbled the ball, picked it up and got a first down? I was right there and I was like, there is no way he picked it up and ran for a first down. He’s a magician, bro. A magician.”
The first player in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards and five TDs with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game.— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 7, 2019
DW4's cleats are headed to Canton. pic.twitter.com/W1N4ChpZj2
Who throws five touchdowns and only five incompletions? DW4, that’s who. This is the Deshaun Watson his former college coach at Clemson, Dabo Swinney, told us about when he said that other teams passing on Deshaun was like passing on Michael Jordan.
And, while it’s easy to give a quarterback all the spotlight, it’s hard to do that when you have a receiver who has a day like Will Fuller V had.
Will Fuller V and Deshaun Watson go off to lead the Texans to victory against the Falcons.— Southwest Sports Media (@SWsportmedia) October 7, 2019
Fuller: 14 rec, 217 yds and 3 TDs
Watson: 28/33 426 yds and 5 TDs pic.twitter.com/PuptaijN6n
Let’s not forget the other great contributors:
- DeAndre Hopkins: 7 catches for 88 yards.
- Darren Fells: 2 catches for 2 touchdowns.
- Keke Coutee: 3 catches for 72 yards (that’s a 24 yard per catch average!!)
- Duke Johnson: 9 rushes for 59 yards.
- Tashaun Gipson: 1 catch for 79 yards and a touchdown. Yes, he’s a safety.
"I vowed myself I'd never let a quarterback tackle me again."— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 7, 2019
Tashaun Gipson Sr. discusses his pick-six, the win and more. pic.twitter.com/RHOANc4N7U
In fact, the only real downside to the Texans’ third win of 2019 was kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missing two extra points. Doing so at home is inexcusable, but perhaps he was getting worn out since the poor kicker had to boot seven extra points and two field goals, accounting for 13 of Houston’s 53 points (not to mention all the kickoffs).
While the Texans’ defense didn’t light the world on fire, they did enough to hold the Falcons’ offense down below what Watson, Fuller V and the offense could put up.
Taking this game and the 57-14 destruction of the Tennessee Titans in 2017, and you might just have all the highlights you need to carry through whatever may come next week and beyond.
What was your favorite moment of the game?