Brian Hoyer is back.
After being inactive in Week 11, Hoyer looked fresh in his first start since suffering a concussion in the Nov. 16 game at Cincinnati. Hoyer completed 21-of-27 for 205 yards, two touchdowns, and a 107.6 passer rating as the Texans defeated the Saints 24-6 on Sunday.
"When you go through that situation, you kind of sit back and watch your team from a different angle," Hoyer said. "I think, for me, it made me more hungry to get back out there, especially seeing the success they had last week. So, I just wanted to get back out there and be part of the team."
Hoyer returned to a Texans team that has only gotten better with each passing week in all phases. Houston's offense, which hasn't scored a touchdown on its opening drive all year, scored on its first two possessions. Hoyer threw nine consecutive completions and led the Texans to a fast 14-0 start in the first quarter.
"I think today we started off with a long run for a first down and we get moving, we get a few no-huddle plays and the second drive, hit a few big passes," Hoyer said. "I think it's just good when you get that rhythm and we have to do a better job of continuing to do what we did today and really start fast and get those positive plays."
Hoyer did it again to start the second half, leading the offense on two more back-to-back scoring drives as Houston put up ten unanswered points in the third quarter. The Texans fast start came courtesy of a quick tempo and successful mix of run and pass plays. The offensive line blocked for its second-straight 100-plus yard rushing performance as the Texans gained 167 yards on the ground with all four running backs in the mix.
"Offensively, we are running the ball better, which as a quarterback, anytime you run the ball, I think it makes it easier," Hoyer said. "We are just playing good complementary football. We've got to keep getting better. It's only going to get tougher from here on out. Now it's going to be December, and if we want to make a run, then we've got to play our best football."
Immediately after the game, Hoyer said he was already reviewing what he could have done differently. Despite what he called "a dumb interception," his first incompletion of the game, Hoyer is optimistic that the team is only beginning to reach its full potential with "a ton of room for improvement."
Head coach Bill O'Brien agrees.
"In the end, what's he's doing for us right now, it has to continue," O'Brien said after the game. "That's the key. We can't turn it over. We've got to get us in the right play. We've got to do a good job of coaching him and he has to be able to take that to the field and be kind of a coach on the field, which is what he is doing right now."
With the win, the Texans improve to 6-5 on the year and travel to (5-6) Buffalo in Week 13.