Heading into the Texans Week 5 game against Atlanta, Will Fuller V was still looking for his first touchdown of the 2019 regular season.
He scored three.
The Texans wideout had a career day, setting single-game highs with 14 receptions, 217 yards receiving and a trio of touchdowns in Sunday’s 53-32 win over the Falcons.
When was the last time he had a game like that?
“Since high school,” Fuller said. “276.”
Fuller attributed his record-setting performance to the attention that teammate DeAndre Hopkins garners from opposing defenses.
“Playing with Hop, like I always say, is easy,” Fuller said. “He gets a lot of coverages thrown his way. And I feel like that's why they brought me here, to help him out. And it took me a while, but I finally had this big game. Just trying to help my dog out.”
Fuller, now in his fourth season, admits that health played a big part in his return. Last year, he missed the final eight games of the season after an ACL injury required season-ending surgery.
“I mean I really can't explain it,” Fuller said. “Just coming back from my ACL, I just wanted to be out there with my guys and help them win. And I know I’ll see some stats out there where me and Deshaun, when we play together, I score every game, and this year we started out slow. I was just trying to get into a groove of things and help my team win.”
Together, Fuller and Watson have connected on 14 touchdowns in their 16 games together. The duo scored the first two touchdowns of the game.
On the second offensive series of the game, Watson found Fuller for a short pass for five yards to start the drive. The Texans converted five first downs, including a big 21-yard catch-and-run by Jordan Akins on third down. Watson finished off the drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Fuller. The Texans tied the game 7-7 with 4:09 left in the first quarter. Watson targeted Fuller on the very next drive as the two connected on a 33-yard strike to give Houston a 13-10 lead.
By halftime, Fuller had eight catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Fuller scored his third and final touchdown of the day with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter. He caught a 44-yard touchdown to give Houston a 47-32 lead following a six-play, 60-yard scoring drive.
His teammates were so impressed, they gathered around Fuller and began bowing to him in homage of his big day.
“It's all fun and games,” Fuller said. “Everything is fun when you're winning, so we're just trying to have some fun.”
Fuller joined Jimmy Smith (Week 2 of 2000), Jerry Rice (Week 16 of 1995) and Steve Largent (Week 6 of 1987) as the only players to record at least 14 receptions, 200 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a game in NFL history.
The Texans improve to 3-2 on the season with the win and will travel to Kansas City in Week 6.