HOUSTON – The Houston Texans picked up another win from behind, taking down the Oakland Raiders at home 27-24.
Despite battling a handful of pregame injuries and in-game injuries, Houston is still well set up to challenge for the AFC South crown.
Here are three things we learned on Sunday:
"WATT" TO DO?
For the third time in four years, J.J. Watt will miss at least half the season. Watt tore his pec after tackling Josh Jacobs, creating a massive gap in both the Texans' defense and morale. Watt's sack numbers have been down, but he was leading the team in QB hits and is irreplaceable.
What Watt does in run defense, pass rush and deflections is nearly impossible to replicate. Players like Charles Omenihu and Jake Martin will have to step up. Both have been used as third-down edge rushers but will have to do their best to play a more complete defensive end game during Watt's absence.
A SECONDARY SECONDARY
The Texans started Johnathan Joseph, Bradley Roby, Aaron Colvin, Tashaun Gipson and Justin Reid against the New Orleans Saints in week 1. In week 8 against the Raiders, they were injured, injured, cut and injured, leaving Justin Reid.
Lonnie Johnson, Jr., who won the starting job over Colvin early in the year got injured during the game, leaving with a concussion. The remaining secondary, outside of Reid, is bleak. The Texans traded for Gareon Conley leading up the game, and Conley promptly got torched for a touchdown by ex-teammate Tyrell Williams. Keion Crossen, a special teams player, came in for the injured Johnson. Crossen's PFF coverage rating is sub-30. The other healthy cornerback is Cornell Armstrong, of the 48.5 PFF coverage rating in 2018 with the Dolphins. Armstrong had his first action in 2019 against the Raiders.
If the Texans secondary can't get at least partially healthy, it'll put more pressure on the Texans offense.
NATIONAL TIGHT END DAY
Sunday, Oct. 27 was National Tight End Day. It was a good reason for Darren Fells to record his second multi-touchdown game of the year. Fells now has five touchdowns on the season and has become a bigger part of the offense. With Will Fuller hurt and Keke Coutee out of the offensive plans (at least in week 8), Fells looks to continue to feast on a big role.