Watson throws TD pass to help Texans over Lions 30-23

Sat Aug 17 11:36pm ET
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

Houston Texans quarterback Joe Webb III (5) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive back C.J. Moore (49) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Detroit Lions quarterback Josh Johnson (4) avoids Houston Texans linebacker Davin Bellamy during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Detroit Lions quarterback Josh Johnson (4) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. The Lions recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)


Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive back Tracy Walker (47) as outside linebacker Christian Jones (52) covers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)


Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a pass against the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)


HOUSTON (AP) Deshaun Watson took advantage of one series in his preseason debut looking sharp in directing a 75-yard drive capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins to help the Houston Texans to a 30-23 win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday night.

Watson, who sat out in a loss to Green Bay last week, was 5 of 7 for 60 yards and scrambled once for 7 yards. After being sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season, the third-year player had plenty of time to throw while facing a Lions defense which opened the game with the bulk of its starters.

Hopkins, also making his preseason debut, had two receptions for 17 yards and shook off Detroit's Quandre Diggs to get open and make the TD catch that put Houston up 7-0.

Hopkins, who had a career-high 1,572 yards receiving last season, was the only one of Houston's top receivers to play. Will Fuller, who is healthy after tearing a knee ligament last season, sat out and the Texans were without Keke Coutee, who injured his ankle last week.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford didn't play for the second straight week, with the Lions instead starting Josh Johnson. Johnson was signed a week ago after backup Tom Savage suffered a head injury in the team's preseason opener against the Patriots. Johnson was 9 of 18 for 85 yards with an interception.

The Lions had a chance to tie it on the last play of the game, but a pass by David Fales was knocked down in the end zone.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson, the eighth overall pick in this year's draft, had one reception for 22 yards, but also received a penalty for a crackback block. Running back Kerryon Johnson started and had three carries for 16 yards in a little more than a quarter of work.

Several of Houston's defensive starters also played briefly, including linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who sacked Johnson and caused a fumble on Detroit's first series. Defensive end J.J. Watt did not play for the second straight game despite practicing all week after recovering from tightness in his groin.

Detroit cornerback Darius Slay broke up two passes in the first quarter and Jalen Reeves-Maybin had five tackles, including one for a loss, and defended a pass.

Veteran backup Joe Webb came in after the series by Watson and was 14 of 25 for 186 yards with a touchdown and an interception after throwing for 286 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions last week.

The Texans were up 10-3 in the second quarter when Steven Mitchell fumbled after a 4-yard reception and Will Harris scooped it up and returned it 19 yards to tie it.

Webb connected with Vyncint Smith on a 31-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to put Houston on top 17-10.

Fales took over at quarterback for the Lions on the second series of the third quarter and threw a 5-yard touchdown to Zach Zenner, but the 2-point conversion failed to leave Detroit down 20-16.

Buddy Howell's 1-yard touchdown run extended Houston's lead to 27-16 with about 8 1/2 minutes left and the Lions got within 27-23 on a TD run by Mark Thompson a couple of minutes later.

Fales was 12 of 19 for 226 yards and a touchdown.

COME BACK HERE

Houston tight end Jordan Thomas caught what appeared to be a touchdown pass from Webb in the second quarter and ran off the field and halfway up the tunnel with teammates chasing him. Thomas had to hustle back after his celebration jog when an offensive holding penalty nullified his score and the Texans had to run another play.

NEXT UP

Lions: Host the Bills on Friday.

Texans: Visit Cowboys next Saturday.

Player Notes
Julio Jones Sep 22 5:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had eight receptions (nine targets) for 128 yards and a touchdown against the Colts in Week 3. After catching 11 passes and racking up three trips to the end zone coming into this one, Jones caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Matt Ryan late in the game for his fourth score of the year. He will look to keep it going against the Titans in Week 4. Obviously, keep him starting in all fantasy formats.

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Braxton Berrios Sep 22 5:10pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios made two catches for 29 yards in a loss to the Patriots Sunday. Berrios led the Jets with six targets but couldn't get much done against a stout Patriots Defense. Berrios served as the team's third wide receiver today, but would see his role decrease if Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) gets healthy and joins the active roster after a bye in Week 4. Despite leading the team in targets, Berrios doesn't need to be owned in fantasy.

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Austin Hooper Sep 22 5:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper had six receptions for 66 yards and two scores during the loss to the Colts on Sunday. After failing to score a touchdown through the first two weeks of the year, Hooper finally came to life against Indianapolis. His absence in the end zone up to this point has been somewhat troubling, but his ability to haul in passes gives him some PPR appeal moving ahead.

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Robby Anderson Sep 22 5:00pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson made three catches for 11 yards in a loss to the Patriots Sunday. Anderson was targeted five times but could get nothing done as the Jets had just 105 yards of total offense with third-string QB Luke Falk making his first career start. Of all the Jets offensive weapons, Anderson has suffered the most with starting QB Sam Darnold (mono) out of action as Anderson has always been a receiver reliant on big plays and the Jets simply can't throw the ball downfield given their current QB situation. The Jets have a bye in Week 4 but will face another tough matchup in Week 5 at Philadelphia. If Darnold plays, Anderson is a boom-or-bust WR3 but he should be avoided as long as Darnold is out.

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Jalen Richard Sep 22 5:00pm ET

Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard was on the field for a season-high 29 snaps in the team's Week 3 loss to the Vikings. It helped that Josh Jacobs was dealing with an illness and a hip injury earlier this week, not to mention the team trailed by three scores for most of the game. Richard didn't do much with his playing time, however, picking up 29 scrimmage yards on two rushes and three catches as his involvement in the passing game has faded this year. Owners of Jacobs shouldn't worry about the rookie losing his bell-cow status, as Richard is no threat to his workload. The 25-year-old doesn't carry any standalone value and will be off the fantasy radar as long as Jacobs is active.

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Luke Falk Sep 22 4:50pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk was dreadful Sunday in New England completing 12 of 22 passes for 98 yards. Falk didn't lead a touchdown drive and threw an interception in the ugly loss. Falk was serviceable in Week 2 when he was forced into action, but the Patriots Defense completely dominated today sacking Falk five times and giving up only 105 total yards. The Jets have a much-needed bye next week before another tough matchup at Philadelphia in Week 5. The team hopes starting QB Sam Darnold (mono) will be healthy enough to play, but if not all the Jets fantasy options need to be downgraded with Falk under center.

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New England Patriots Sep 22 4:50pm ET

The New England Patriots Defense stifled an opponent once again as the team cruised to a 30-14 win over the Jets. The Jets were never in this game as the Patriots pass rush racked up five sacks while allowing only 35 rushing yards. The defense, technically, still has not allowed a touchdown all season as the Jets scored on a special teams fumble and a pick-six from backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham. The Patriots defense has risen quickly to become an elite unit in fantasy moving forward.

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Devonta Freeman Sep 22 4:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman ran for a season-high 88 yards on 16 carries in addition to three receptions for seven yards against Indianapolis on Sunday. Freeman was productive despite failing to find the end zone against the Colts, but it was a step in the right direction after amassing just 41 yards on the ground through the first two weeks of the year. He remains a must-start in most fantasy leagues, however, but he will have to do more to keep that tag moving forward, including scoring a touchdown.

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Le'Veon Bell Sep 22 4:40pm ET

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 18 times for 35 yards and hauled in all four of his targets for 28 yards against the Patriots on Sunday. A 63-yard day is disappointing for fantasy owners, but considering the Jets only gained 105 yards of offense total things could have been worse for Bell. The Jets offense could get nothing going with third-string quarterback Luke Falk making his first career start on the road against a defense that is yet to allow a touchdown this season. If nothing else, fantasy owners can be satisfied Bell out-touched Ty Montgomery 22-2 and he is still the centerpiece of New York's offense. The Jets will be on bye in Week 4, but Bell will continue to be a must-start running back in fantasy moving forward.

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Matt Ryan Sep 22 4:40pm ET

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns on 29-for-34 passing in the narrow loss to the Colts in Week 3. After throwing five picks during the first two games of the year, his lone interception in this one was a step in the right direction. Despite Ryan's inaccuracies in the passing game, he remains one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks in 2019, however, and should continue to have a place in starting lineups in a majority of formats. He will look to keep it going in Week 4 against the Titans.

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Jakobi Meyers Sep 22 4:40pm ET

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Josh Gordon Sep 22 4:30pm ET

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Derek Carr Sep 22 4:30pm ET

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Phillip Dorsett Sep 22 4:30pm ET

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Tom Brady Sep 22 4:20pm ET

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Sony Michel Sep 22 4:20pm ET

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Rex Burkhead Sep 22 4:20pm ET

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Darren Waller Sep 22 4:10pm ET

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Tyrell Williams Sep 22 4:10pm ET

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