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Breaking down the key plays | Texans vs. Chargers

2nd Quarter - 21-0
1st and ten
-25 yard line - first play after the Chargers made it 21-0

The Texans put 21 personnel in the game - the two backs were Troy Hairston at FB and Dameon Pierce at TB. WR Nico Collins was aligned in a wing position to the right of TE O.J. Howard. The Texans ran a simple toss play and immediately, Collins hammered the edge defender Chris Rumph II and pinned him inside. The inside linebacker was then supposed to get over the top in pursuit, but Howard locked up LB Drue Tranquill. Hairston snapped a linebacker's neck and Pierce had a ton of green grass in front of him. He then ran right past the safety and right on down the field 75 yards for a touchdown - the third longest in the history of the franchise.

3rd Quarter - 27-7
1st and goal
+8 yard line

A wonderfully constructed pass route for a Rex Burkhead touchdown. OC Pep Hamilton had a bunch to the left side of the formation, but Rex Burkhead was aligned on the right of the formation. The bunch essentially cleared to the other side of the field. The Chargers' defenders eyes went with the crossing bunch receiver routes. As they did, Burkhead leaked out to the left side of the formation where he stepped initially inside to go with those routes. One of the Chargers defenders collided with one of the Texans receivers and it caused a natural pick for Burkhead who was wide open for his first touchdown of the season.

4th Quarter - 27-14
1st and ten
+18 yard line

The Texans came out in 11 personnel with Brandin Cooks out wide to the right and TE O.J. Howard in an attached alignment. The Chargers appeared to be in quarters coverage. From Howard's spot, he's run that seam route stretching the overhang player up the field often during the season. That route has been ultra-successful for Howard and the Texans, but on this one he broke to the sideline. Because he started vertical first before breaking out, the safety matched his route to the outside. In so doing, Howard opened the area in front of Cooks who ran a post route behind him. Howard pulled interior coverage with him to the sideline and Cooks got inside position on the CB. QB Davis Mills delivered a DART for the touchdown that got the Texans within six.

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