When you lose two of your best defensive players, the way to respond is by scoring more points. And the Texans have scored a lot of points with Deshaun Watson running the show. For the first time in franchise history the Texans have scored at least 30 points in a game and enter their bye week with a good feeling about the direction of the offense.
Watson tossed three more scoring passes in a win over Cleveland, giving him 12 in the last three games and a league-high 15 entering the off-week. He’s already thrown as many scoring passes through six games as Brock Osweiler did in 15 starts last season. The defense responded in its first game without J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, holding the Browns to 247 yards, getting a pair of interceptions from Johnathan Joseph and sacking Kevin Hogan four times. But it was the Browns.
2017 Record: 3-3
2017 ATS Record: 4-2
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 4-2
Current Super Bowl Odds: +2800
Current Odds to Win AFC: +2000
Current Odds to Win AFC South: +175
Current NFL Odds: None
Over/Under Total: None
Week 6: Texans 33, Browns 17
ATS Result: Texans -7.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 46
Watson continued his torrid start and the Texans overpowered Cleveland, easily covering the 7.5-point spread. Watson tossed three scoring passes, Joseph returned one of his picks 82-yards for a score, and the defense forced a safety during a 30-0 run that gave Houston control of the game. A late Browns touchdown allowed the final score to go over the closing total for a fourth straight game.
Week 5: Chiefs 42, Texans 34
ATS Result: Chiefs -2
Over/Under Total Result: Over 45
The loss of Watt and Mercilus definitely affected the defense as the Texans allowed 450 yards and easily cashed the over. Watson had the offense in gear throwing five touchdown passes, but a special teams breakdown proved deadly. The Texans got within 26-20 early in the fourth before allowing a touchdown pass and an 82-yard punt return to turn the game around. Watson’s fifth TD pass of the game with no time left made the final score closer.
Week 4: Texans 57, Titans 14
ATS Result: Texans +2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 43.5
This was the most complete game of the season for the Texans, who improved to 3-1 ATS with their rout of the Titans. Watson was unconscious with his performance and dare we say Houston now has an offense. Watson accounted for five touchdowns while the Texans built a 21-0 lead. But the absence of Mariota in the second half with an injury allowed Houston to pull away after the break.
Week 3: Patriots 36, Texans 33
ATS Result: Texans +13.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 44.5
Despite a big game from Jadeveon Clowney, who had two sacks and returned a fumble for a touchdown, the defense couldn’t stop Tom Brady when it mattered. The Texans covered as an underdog for the second straight game, but lost when Brady tossed his fifth scoring pass late in the fourth quarter. With Watson looking more comfortable running the offense, the over was an easy call.
Week 2: Texans 13, Bengals 9
ATS Result: Texans +5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 38
It was far from a work of art, but the Texans got a win and that’s all that mattered. The team was shorthanded, particularly on offense with injuries to two tight ends and just three receivers playing. That made the use of Watson a key in the offensive game plan and he provided the biggest play, scoring the only touchdown on a 49-yard scramble. The defense did the rest, holding the Bengals without a touchdown to get the cover win. Points were scarce and Houston played below the total for a second time.
Week 1: Jaguars 29, Texans 7
ATS Result: Jaguars -5.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 38
The Texans trailed by 19 points at halftime and were never in the contest. They failed to cover the 5.5-point spread and, despite a low total, their lack of offense allowed the under to cash. The offense will be a point of emphasis moving forward and O’Brien was quick to yank Savage in the opener. Giving up 10 sacks and committing four turnovers isn’t going to win many football games and the Texans have firsthand experience.
Preseason Record: 1-2
ATS Record: 1-2
Over/Under Total Record: 2-1
While the Texans have struggled to manufacture wins outside of division play, they’ve owned the AFC South the last two seasons, allowing them to capture back-to-back division titles. Houston went 5-1 against AFC South competition last year with the only loss coming in the season finale after the title had already been secured. They also went 5-1 the year before and are 8-3-1 ATS against their division foes over the past two years.
Week 1: Texans vs. Jaguars, Sunday, September 10, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 2: Texans at Bengals, Thursday, September 14, 8:25 p.m. ET – NFL Network
Week 3: Texans at Patriots, Sunday, September 24, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 4: Texans vs. Titans, Sunday, October 1, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 5: Texans vs. Chiefs, Sunday, October 8, 8:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 6: Texans vs. Browns, Sunday, October 15, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 7: Bye Week
Week 8: Texans at Seahawks, Sunday, October 29, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 9: Texans vs. Colts, Sunday, November 5, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 10: Texans at Rams, Sunday, November 12, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 11: Texans vs. Cardinals, Sunday, November 19, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 12: Texans at Ravens, Monday, November 27, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 13: Texans at Titans, Sunday, December 3, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 14: Texans vs. 49ers, Sunday, December 10, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 15: Texans at Jaguars, Sunday, December 17, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 16: Texans vs. Steelers, Monday, December 25, 4:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 17: Texans at Colts, Sunday, December 31, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
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