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Other Week 15 Game Recaps

Week 15 Game Recap: Houston Texans 29, New York Jets 22

What you need to know

Houston Texans

The tight end group was on the field but opportunities did not come their way with TE Ryan Griffin and TE Jordan Thomas getting the bulk of the snaps.

With RB Lamar Millerís ankle injury, RB DíOnta Foreman could possibly see time on the field to back up Alfred Blue. Coach Bill OíBrien opened the door for a potential return for Foreman but everything seems contingent on Milerís health.

WR Keke Coutee will remain a game time decision and it appears it might not be until the playoffs that he will be seen again. Couteeís hamstring issue has been a concern all season and they are making sure he is potentially ready for the most important parts of the season.

New York Jets

What you need to know: From a dynasty perspective, Sam Darnold is beginning to make his Fantasy GMs happy, as he has looked very good the last few weeks, notable also because you can see the lack of weapons he has. Robby Anderson and tight end Chris Herndon are also looking like good long-term prospects, and all three are not-horrible desperation plays. The Jets are playing for pride and hanging in there in games, which allows them to have some fantasy upside as we close the season.

Houston Texans

QB Deshaun Watson, 53 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 28 - 294 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 26 - 0
The efficiency of Deshaun Watson should not be looked over after completing 78.6% of his passes against the New York Jets. His completion percentage continues to climb and this week he focused on his wide receiver group. Watson was dialed in on his deep throws connecting with DeAdnre Hopkins for 27 and 45 yards and Demaryius Thomas for 20. Hopkins was the beneficiary of Watson with him dialing in and giving him chances to make plays. On his 45-yard bomb to Hopkins, Watson waited for him to split the safeties and then it was Hopkins who did the rest. In the 4th quarter alone, Watson was 9 of 10 for 90 yards and he threw the game winning touchdown to Hopkins on a jump ball fade that saw Hopkins go over the defensive back to make another impressive highlight reel catch. Watson also hit wide receiver DeAndre Carter beating a blitz from the Jets that turned into a 50-yard catch and run. Watson has improved as a passer but he is still leaving yards on the field when he is pressured from defensive backs blitzing him. Watson was also the Texans leading rusher with 26 yards and had the longest run of the game with a 24-yard designed run around the right side.

RB Alfred Blue, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 6 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)
With Lamar Miller down, the Texans turned to Alfred Blue to carry the workload. Just like Miller earlier in the game, there was not much there for Blue in the running game. He had 9 rushed for 6 yards and two receptions for 9 yards. It was the lowest rushing output of the season for the Texans and Blue had zero room to work with on Saturday.

RB Lamar Miller, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0
It was a down day for Lamar Miller. Not only was he held to 3 rushed for 8 yards but he was injured in the 1st quarter after he was tackled by two Jet defenders. Millers leg was caught under the defenders and the team called it an ankle injury. He did not return to the game after he exited with his injury.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 170 - 2 (11 targets)
DeAndre Hopkins was able to get back on track and take advantage of a Jets defense that felt they could play Hopkins one on one in coverage. He put up 10 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns which were 14 and 45 yard receptions. His 45 yard touchdown catch came with him splitting the Jets safeties and the other came on a jump ball where he went over the defender to make the grab. Hopkins continues to show he can eat up yards after the catch and that has been a plus for the veteran wide receiver.

WR Demaryius Thomas, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 59 - 0 (8 targets)
His stats are not saying it but Demaryius Thomas is getting open and it is just a matter of Deshaun Watson getting him the football. Thomas had 6 receptions for 59 yards with his two longest receptions for 20 and 27 yards. On his 27-yard receptions, he caught a comeback put a move on the defensive back and turned back inside to put up some yards after the catch. Then on his 20-yard reception, he improvised on a broken play and worked up field and snagged a low pass from Watson to pick up a key first down. Thomas is getting his chances but it is up to Watson to get him the football so he can work.

WR DeAndre Carter, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 2 - 55 - 0 (3 targets)
The Texans have inserted Carter as their primary slot player and he continues to make plays. He started off with an end-around rush for 7 yards and then his biggest reception came on a 50-yard catch and run from the slot. Carter is speedy option and has shown that the Texans trust him to be on the field.

New York Jets

QB Sam Darnold, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 38 - 253 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 35 - 0
For the second week in a row, rookie Sam Darnold looked really good, hitting just over 63 percent of his passes and averaging 10.54 yards per completion. The completion percentage is significantly higher than his overall year average of 55.5 percent, although slightly down from the 66.7 he notched last week against the Bills. The Jets are seeing a significant improvement in their first round pick, and not just in terms of statistics. Darnold is making better decisions, and being more careful with the ball. While he still dodges some bullets when defenders drop a pass that should have been an interception, those are less frequent. He did spend a ton of time scrambling behind an offensive line suffering from shoddy play again this week, but for the most part he showed a great deal of ability to extend the play with his legs until a receiver came open or he could gain some yardage himself. Darnold was a big factor in the Jets coming back at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second as he orchestrated two sharp drives capped off with a touchdown each time. The first time, on a score to Robby Anderson, Darnold had to step up through the offensive line to buy time to throw the ball. Darnold showed excellent field awareness, making sure he didnít cross the line of scrimmage and delivered a perfect pass to Anderson along the back of the end zone. The second throw was to Andre Robertson a 3rd-and-5 from the Houston 13 yard line. Darnold had plenty of time and saw Roberts shake his coverage a little with a double move. Darnold short-armed the pass a little, so it ended up behind the receiver just a little, but Roberts adjusted and made a nice catch. Perhaps his best throw, however, was to tight end Chris Herndon in the fourth quarter to extend a drive on a long third down. On the play, Darnold was flushed from the pocket and ran to his right, eyes downfield the entire time. He could have run for a couple of yards, but would have been well short of a first. Instead, he saw Herndon downfield with a man covering him along the sideline. He needed to make a pinpoint thrown in order to put the ball over a defenderís head while also keeping it away from the coverage along the sideline, and he did so, giving his tight end a nice pass for a big gain.

RB Elijah McGuire, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 42 - 1, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets)
With Isaiah Crowell out for the season, Elijah McGuire has taken over the starting running back roll, and he was serviceable against a tough Houston front. He showed a great deal of determination on his short touchdown run in the fourth, which put the Jets ahead for a while, continuing to pump his legs and try to force his way forward in the face of a swarming defense. He got a little help from a literal offensive line push, but if he hadnít kept forward momentum before the line started pushing him, the refs would have whistled the play dead. Unfortunately, McGuire fumbled the ball on the Jets 45-yard line, which the Texans converted into a 45-yard DeAndre Hopkins touchdown reception. Aside from that, McGuire did OK against a tough defense, and added some nice work as a receiver as well but he needs to work on his ball security.

RB Trenton Cannon, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 13 - 0, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (4 targets)
Cannon saw just a handful of carries compared to Elijah McGuire, who certainly has a stranglehold on the starting job. Like McGuire, Cannon made some noise as a receiver, and extended a couple of drives doing that, but unlike McGuire, he couldnít make any headway at all against the Houston front seven.

WR Robby Anderson, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 96 - 1 (11 targets)
For the second game in a row, Anderson found the end zone and was a consistent weapon for the Jets, even when the throw wasnít a mile downfield. He made two big catches that stood out beyond the others, as well as a massive mistake that overshadowed his whole day. He did a great job continuing to move and find space while quarterback Sam Darnold scrambled to keep the play alive, and made a nice catch when the rookie spied him along the back of the end zone. He also made a tremendous sideline grab where Darnold was scrambling to Andersonís side of the field, and had to throw it high in order to get the ball over the defense. Anderson did a mice job going up and aggressively grabbing the ball for a big gain. He had the chance to do it again on a drive to win the game in the fourth quarter but dropped a ball he should have caught. Anderson continues to be a roller coaster, making nice grabs and then dropping balls he should have caught, but itís clear Darnold trusts him enough to use him early and often.

WR Andre Roberts, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 16 - 1 (4 targets)
Roberts continues to mostly be a special teams player, but he has had to be more involved in the offense due to the long list of injuries the Jets have had to deal with at the position. His biggest play was on a touchdown in the early third quarter. On the play, he ran a nice double move against the Houston secondary, gaining a few steps on his coverage. Quarterback Sam Darnold saw the opening the threw the ball, but it was short. Roberts saw that it wouldnít be long enough though, and adjusted, making a nice grab while going backwards into the end zone.

WR Jermaine Kearse, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (5 targets)
Kearse saw several targets but was well covered, and couldnít haul more than a couple in. He was the target on a throw late in the game which went off the defenderís facemask, thbough Kearse didnít seem all that motivated to fight for the ball.

WR Rishard Matthews, 13 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)
Matthews continues to be no more than a warm body on offense, with very little involvement of depth on any given play. It seems very much like if he is targeted, it means Sam Darnold was desperate.

TE Chris Herndon, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 53 - 0 (4 targets)
The rookie tight end is on the field more than any other tight end, and fourth most overall in the offense behind Elijah McGuire, Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson. His target total doubled from last weekís effort against the Bills, and itís evident that he has fellow rookie Sam Darnoldís trust even if it doesnít always translate to massive totals. This week Darnold looked for him on a 3rd-and-8 while scrambling. Herndonís route gave him just a little separation from his coverage along the sideline, with another defender underneath him. Darnold trusted his tight end would go up and get the ball, and threw it over the first defender. Herndon made a leaping grab to extend the drive, which would result in a touchdown run by Elijah McGuire to give the Jets their first and only lead of the game.

TE Eric Tomlinson, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)
Tomlinson had a nice catch for a first down, but was primarily in as a blocker for the Jets on offense, and worked special teams as well.

TE Jordan Leggett, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)
Leggett made a nice catch on a 1st-and-15 near the end of the second quarter but was only on the field 35 percent of the offensive plays and even then, usually only as a blocker.