The Leftovers: Big matchup, J.J. Watt's future, Thanksgiving game

Drew Dougherty has been the host of Texans TV since 2009. He answers fan questions submitted via Facebook on a weekly basis. A few got answered in the video above. Many more were answered in the article below.

Aaron Givens: Dear Drew, The Patriots are known for taking away your best player on offense. If they take away DeAndre Hopkins, which player on offense do think needs to step it up the most to help win?
DD: Will Fuller V. We saw what happened last week when he returned to the offense: seven catches for 140 yards, and he messed with the Colts defense in terms of assignments. Deshaun Watson said in the postgame press conference that on one of the touchdown passes to Hopkins, a defensive back wasn't where he was supposed to be, so the Texans were able to take advantage. Fuller's deep speed is a game-changer and can really mess with a defense. John Harris and I discussed it in further detail on our 'In the Lab' podcast below.

@debbiethetexan: Dear Drew, Will the Texans ever get to play on Thanksgiving Day again?
DD: Great question, Debbie, and it was good seeing you at the Fuddruckers Players Show on Monday. Yes, I'm sure the Texans will play again on Thanksgiving. Don't know when, exactly, but remember: in addition to the early game with the Lions, and the afternoon game in Dallas, there's now a prime time NFL game. Houston has a good shot at playing in that one. They're also set to play in Detroit next season, which is where they played on Thanksgiving in 2012. That could wind up there on Thanksgiving next year.

Jason McLeod: Dear Drew, How do you think our starting defensive backfield looks with Bradley Roby coming back and the recent corner additions?
DD: Roby might be back against the Patriots. He was a limited participant last week before the Colts game, and should be close to playing. Whenever he returns, you'll likely see a mix of him with Gareon Conley, Johnathan Joseph and Vernon Hargreaves, III at corner. If that's the case, the talent level of your quartet of cornerbacks has improved by quite a bit compared to where it's been the last few seasons.

Scott Roberts: Dear Drew, If we beat the Pats this Sunday, do you think we have a chance at a Bye week for the playoffs?
DD: A Texans win would certainly move them close to a bye, but they'd still need a bit of help. A victory would push Houston's record to 8-4, and New England's to 10-2. So the Texans would still be two games behind the Patriots. They're in first, a game ahead of the Ravens, who are currently two games ahead of Houston. For the Texans to get a bye, they probably need to win every game the rest of the year, and hope the Ravens lose three more times or the Patriots lose two more after falling in Houston. That's a lot to hope for, but stranger things have happened.

Franklin Moore: Dear Drew, What impact will the return of Jordan Thomas have on game strategy?
DD: At a minimum, it forces the Patriots and the remaining teams on the Texans schedule to account for a 3-tight end look in the offense. Last Thursday was the first game all season the Texans had three tight ends active on gameday. Along with Darren Fells and Jordan Akins, Thomas was on the field a few snaps against the Colts, and head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday he wants to use the tight ends more in the weeks to come. Don't forget: Thomas led the Texans tight ends with four touchdown catches last year and is a big target in the red zone. He's one more weapon that could come in handily for Watson and the offense.

Derwin Jordan: Dear Drew, How important is it to come out with a win against the Pats. Can you remind us how close Deshaun came to a win last time he faced Brady?
DD: They're all important, Derwin. The Texans are currently the third seed in the AFC, and a game up on the Colts in the division. There are still five games remaining, but they're all crucial at this point of the season.

Jose Goku Vazquez: Dear Drew, When would we see Keke Coutee getting back on the field?
DD: You could see it Sunday night. He was inactive against the Colts, but you might see him back in the fold versus the Patriots. If he's on and ready, it's another weapon the Patriots must defend against.

Dan Flores: Dear Drew, What do you think the future holds for JJ Watt with the Texans organization? How serious is this injury compared to the others?
DD: What's up, 2 Cans Dan? I think Watt will be back and wreaking havoc in 2020. We've seen him around NRG Stadium as he starts the rehab process, and if I know him, he'll be ready to rock fairly soon. He was having a strong season before the injury, and I believe he'll pick right back up where he left off when we see him next.

@956TXN: Dear Drew, Thanksgiving, Lunch or Dinner?
DD: Yes.

@JohnLon31401195 Dear Drew, how can we get past the Patriots defense?
DD: The Texans must be extremely clean with the football and not turn it over. They also need to challenge New England deep with the likes of Fuller and Stills, and try to get the run game re-established.

@why_brand: Dear Drew, WHY the handstand? You made it look easy.
DD: Why not? Gotta get people's attention from time-to-time, and a handstand seemed to be the way.

@Hippokrampus Dear Drew, Giblet gravy or giblet gravy?
DD: Wut? I like it. What's the difference?

@BonoDoesYYC: Dear Drew, Who could punt a turkey farther? Watson or Hopkins?
DD: They'd never do such a thing.

Nick Battista Dear drew, how will our secondary matchup with all the short throw and catches?
DD: I'm sure defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will have something cooked up in that regard. The Texans did a better job of taking that away from the Colts last week. The first time those two teams played, Indianapolis gashed the Houston defense over the middle of the field.

Related Content