FBG says: Neutral matchup. Deshaun Watson had one of the best games of his career last week as he completed 28 of 33 pass attempts for 426 yards and five touchdowns. When the game script has called for it, Watson has stepped up to the game this season as he has passed for at least 268 yards and three touchdowns during all three games in which the Texans opponent has scored at least 20 points. His offensive line looked much better last week as well. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil, in particular, finally stepped up in a big way as he was impressive in pass protection last week and played a key part in keeping Watson sack-free for just the second time in his NFL career and the first time since Week 8 of 2018. another bright spot for this passing offense last week was easily the play of Will Fuller, who broke loose for 217 yards and three touchdowns from 14 receptions. Fuller came out of nowhere with double the targets of anyone else on this offense. Fuller had been sputtering to start the season, so it is tough to expect a repeat of last week--but he certainly looked in sync with Watson and was constantly where he needed to be when he needed to be there. DeAndre Hopkins continues to disappoint, however, as he has gone four straight games without scoring while averaging just 58 receiving yards per game over that span. Keke Coutee finally had his first respectable game of the season last week with Kenny Stills sidelined, and he could repeat a decent game this week if Stills remains sidelined.
The Chiefs passing defense has put up decent numbers considering the game scripts they have faced this year. Part of this success is due to how terrible their rushing defense has been, but this inconsistent secondary actually has played pretty well in coverage since Week 1. In the last four games, they have actually prevented any single wide receiver from exceeding five receptions and 77 yards since Week 1. Defensive back Charvarius Ward has been their best cornerback, actually playing so well that he held off losing too many snaps to Morris Claiborne last week. The veteran Claiborne returned from a four-game suspension and played just 24 snaps compared to 57 from Ward. Bashaud Breeland, on the other side, remains an exploitable matchup and is may even shadow DeAndre Hopkins this week--making for what will be a very attractive matchup for Hopkins to bounce back and find the end zone. The pass rush remains a weakness as well for this group, especially now that they are down two starting defensive linemen with Chris Jones and Xavier Williams sidelined. Frank Clark simply has not made the impact expected yet, and this group should struggle against an improving Texans offensive line. All in all, this Texans passing offense should have a clear advantage in this one.