The Texans hit the bye with a trainload of offensive momentum and a good look at how they will shape their reinvented defense following a 33-17 win over Cleveland.
The score of their most recent victory actually makes the game look closer than it was. Houston was never seriously threatened as both sides of the ball flexed their muscles early and often.
Deshaun Watson continued his assault on the Texans record books with three more touchdown passes, tying the team's entire output from 2017. And we're only in week six! The rookie continues to dazzle. He walked into the building in a Warren Moon Oilers jersey, firing up the fans on social media. Then he fired his scoring passes and took over the top spot in passing TDs in the entire NFL. The only real blemish was a meaningless pick six. But no one is complaining. With Watson it feels like any game is winnable.
Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins caught touchdown passes (I feel like I write this every week) and Braxton Miller got activated and got into the end zone, catching a shovel pass and taking it in for six.
The defense registered four sacks and kept Cleveland's offense from doing anything meaningful until garbage time. And they scored for the third time in the last four games. Johnathan Joseph had two picks and ran one back in becoming the franchise's all-time interceptions leader.
Cleveland came into the game ranked third in the league in pass plays of 20 or more yards. But the Houston defense wasn't having it. The guys up front, without Watt and Whitney, got pressure and kept Kevin Hogan off balance.
The Texans needed a game like this as they get into their bye. There's some time for R&R now. That's not rest and relaxation, that's rest and rehab. There are still enough injuries to keep the athletic trainers from getting any kind of break. And the Texans need to be as healthy as possible as they hit the west coast in two of the next three games with dates with Seattle and the Rams looming.
The record, at 3-3, is hardly what Bill O'Brien coveted coming into the season but he knows the most important games have yet to be played. The main function is to stay close in the division and be ready when the Texans close with three AFC South road games in their last five contests. Those tilts will ultimately decide where this team is headed. But for now, it's time to recharge, reload and get ready for Seattle one week from Sunday.
Check out the best photos as the Texans took on the Browns at NRG Stadium.