At the Texans Kickoff Luncheon prior to the fourth preseason game, it was announced that October 6th would be the first Founder’s Day and Bob McNair would go into the Ring of Honor. Bill O’Brien said at the time that the Texans “better win” on the occasion.
Well, they did. Big.
Needing to bounce back after a tough home loss a week ago, the Texans erupted with a 53-32 record-setting triumph over Atlanta.
The day began with a three-and-out by the defense, but after the Texans didn’t move the ball, the Falcons grabbed the early lead with a Matt Ryan touchdown pass. Houston tied the game with a 75-yard drive, capped by Will Fuller, V’s first TD of the season. He would be heard from a lot more, later.
Deshaun Watson had a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. Five touchdown passes, three to Fuller and two to Darren Fells, paved the way for the highest in-regulation total yardage number in franchise history (592).
The running backs didn’t grab the marquee headlines but they combined for 119 rushing yards with Watson adding another well-timed 47. There was balance and explosiveness in the attack, keeping Atlanta on their heels defensively.
The Falcons were no slouches themselves on offense, but the Texans came up with the big stops when they needed them. The Atlanta running game never got going and a two-sack day doesn’t tell the whole story of how the Texans got pressure, creating some key incompletions.
Despite the scoring barrage, the Falcons stayed within striking distance in the fourth quarter. But the Texans always had an answer. Fuller’s third TD came on a 3rd-and-5 where Watson threw deeper than you might expect and caught the speedster, on the run, on the way to the end zone.
This was just what the doctor ordered. Houston had scored a combined total of 23 points at home coming into the game and needed a spark. Watson and company provided it and gave the fans an unforgettable show.
The Texans also gave the founder of the franchise a win on the day he would be immortalized in the Ring of Honor.
Andre Ware joked on the postgame show, “Can we save some points for next week?”
There’s no equivalent of rollover minutes in NFL scoring. But Sunday was a great showing of production and potential as the Texans get ready for a two-game road swing at Kansas City and Indy.
Houston Texans take on the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium for the fifth game of the 2019 NFL season.