HOUSTON – The Houston Texans flew more than 2,000 miles for a football game in London and will fly home with a 26-3 victory.
Here are three things we learned from Houston's overseas win.
Backups step up
The Texans came into the game missing three of five starting defensive backs and played much of the game without a fourth. Johnathan Joseph got injured and missed a portion of the game. The Texans traded for Gareon Conley for precisely this depth, and Conley rewarded them by effectively blanketing Chris Conley.
Both Texans safeties, Justin Reid and Jahleel Addae got interceptions on overthrows by Jags QB Gardner Minshew.
On the defensive line, Carlos Watkins is part of a handful of players meant to try to replace J.J Watt. Watkins got an important sack while players like Brandon Dunn and Charles Omenihu put up strong games. Minshew made some incredible plays scrambling, but never looked comfortable. The Jaguars didn't score a touchdown against a Texans defense that is half backups at this point.
Watson for MVP?
Deshaun Watson continues to make a case for NFL MVP. He added 201 yards and two touchdowns in the easy win. Watson made some more incredible plays, including an escape that yielded a first-down flip to Carlos Hyde.
Deshaun Watson did it again guys pic.twitter.com/z7TIS0NSEd— Ari Alexander (@KPRC2Ari) November 3, 2019
After the game, when asked to make a case for Watson as MVP, DeAndre Hopkins says Watson's play makes the case for him. There are few players in football right now as electrifying as the Texans QB.
London is the setting of the "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Houston's own Mr. Hyde turned into a monster on Sunday with 160 rushing yards. Hyde also fumbled on a long run, but credit Jaguars safety Jarrod Wilson for chasing down Hyde and punching the ball out, Peanut Tillman-style.
Hyde broke two huge runs, both season highs (48, then 58). He looks much better than the player that three teams (Jacksonville, Cleveland and Kansas City) gave up on.