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Week 16 Game Recap: Houston Texans 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20


What you need to know

Houston Texans

Will Fuller left the game early, and this time it was a groin injury. He did not return, and it forced DeAndre Carter into action.

With Fuller down, expect Keke Coutee to be part of the offense heading into week 17 and the playoffs until they figure out the situation with Fuller.

Fuller down also means Kenny Stills will move into a starting role and get significant snaps with the offense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa's once illustrious wide receiver core were without Evans, Godwin, or Miller, leaving Watson and Perriman manning two wide sets. QB Winston threw another pick on his first attempt of the game, a pick-six no less, and followed it up with three more interceptions, bringing his season total to 28. Winston managed to find Watson for one touchdown at the end of the first half. The offensive line racked up penalties galore and Tampa Bay had a field goal attempt blocked on their first drive of the game as they struggled in almost all phases. Halfback Ronald Jones managed a solid fantasy day with a short touchdown run, seeing increased volume after Peyton Barber was benched for an ugly fumble in the 2nd quarter.

Houston Texans

QB Deshaun Watson, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 32 - 184 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 37 - 0
One of Deshaun Watson's worst performances of the season was only throwing for 184 yards and an interception. His interception was thrown on a deep ball intended for Kenny Stills, but he left it too close to the defender to intercept the pass. Watson's longest completion of the day went to DeAndre Carter for 39 yards, which set up the Texans for the game-winning field goal. Watson did have a touchdown to Darren Fells reversed by replay after being down at the six-inch line. Outside of those two deep opportunities, Watson was conservative with his throws and kept to what the Buccaneers gave him.

RB Carlos Hyde, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 27 - 1, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)
There was not much on the ground for the Texans, and Hyde's longest run of the game was six yards. With only 27 yards rushing, Hyde faced stacked boxes the majority of the game, and the Texans could not beat the Buccaneers front seven. Hyde did score the only touchdown of the game on a one-yard run.

RB Duke Johnson, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (4 targets)
Just like Carlos Hyde, Johnson did not have much success on the ground or catching passes. Johnson had a costly fumble deep in Texans territory. Only 16 total yards the entire game, Johnson had one of his worst performances of the season.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 23 - 0 (9 targets)
Much like most of the Texans offense, it was even an off day for DeAndre Hopkins. Held to 23 yards receiving, Hopkins was played physically by Bucs defensive backs the entire game. The Texans attempted to line up Hopkins in the slot and in the backfield to get him in favorable matchups. Things were not going well for Hopkins on Saturday, which is an uncommon sight this season.

WR Kenny Stills, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 57 - 0 (9 targets)
Leading the Texans in receiving against the Bucs, Stills was able to at least give Deshaun Watson some looks in the passing game. Watson did miss Stills after beating his defender to the middle of the field, but the ball was left behind him and picked off. Stills did most of his work on intermediate routes on the outside with his longest reception for 21 yards.

TE Darren Fells, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (3 targets)
Darren Fells had an eleven-yard touchdown reception reversed after the replay booth ruled him down at the six-inch line. It would have been a bigger day for Fells, but he did have 17-yard reception on a bootleg that Watson hit him on the run. He continues to be the Texans' primary tight end in the offense and one of Watson's reliable targets when he throws him the football.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Jameis Winston, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 48 - 335 - 1 TD / 4 INT, Rush: 2 - 16 - 0
Would you believe it, this week Winston threw another pick on his first pass attempt of the game. Cornerback Bradley Roby jumped an underthrown out route to Justin Watson and housed it for an easy score on the second play of the game. Winston decided to double down this week, tossing ANOTHER pick-six on the next drive. The score was fortunately called back for an illegal blind side block on the return, and the Bucs defense was able to hold the Texans to just a field goal. Winston's accuracy was off on a later 1st quarter drive that saw him miss an open Justin Watson and Breshad Perriman in the end zone on consecutive plays, eventually settling for a field goal. Winston tossed yet another interception while looking for Perriman on a comeback route in the 2nd quarter. Tampa Bay got the ball back on on Houston's side of the field with a little under a minute left in the 1st half, and Winston managed to overthrow an open Perriman and an open Watson on the same play. Winston threw one touchdown to Justin Watson at the end of the first half of play, buying time with his feet while Watson worked his way open on a crossing route. Winston tossed one more interception in the general direction of Ogunbowale late in the 4th quarter, cementing his status as the NFL leader in interceptions heading into week 17. Winston picked up 16 yards on the ground. He had a nifty 14 yard scramble that included a pump fake and a toss fake in the 3rd quarter.

RB Ronald Jones, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 77 - 1, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (4 targets)
Jones benefited this week from Peyton Barber's benching after a 2nd quarter fumble. Jones picked up the majority of his yardage on a beautiful 1st quarter run off left tackle that showcased some great open-field cuts and a nice stiff arm from Jones, who crossed the field and turned up the right sideline before being pushed out of bounds for a 49 yard gain. Jones scored on a nice cutback behind the left guard from 4 yards out in the 2nd quarter. Jones secured three of his four targets in the passing game, with one drop on a screen pass. He had a short gain on a checkdown pass in the 3rd quarter, then picked up a few more yards on crossing route late in the 4th. He leaked out of the backfield and picked up 23 yards against a prevent defense late in the 4th quarter.

RB Peyton Barber, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 13 - 0
Barber had a magnificent hurdle in the 1st quarter in which he leaped over two defenders, kept his feet, and picked up a first down and more, but the play was called back for a holding penalty on the offensive line. Barber coughed up a fumble at the end of a nice 2nd quarter run and was benched for the remainder of the game.

RB Dare Ogunbowale, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (5 targets)
Ogunbowale did not register a carry this week, but he did secure three of his five targets in the passing game. He caught a short out route on 3rd and 2 and turned it up the sideline for a 16 yard gain in the 1st quarter. He picked up another short gain on an out route in the 3rd quarter. Ogunbowale also returned kicks, and may have been a tad too enthusiastic to bring the ball out on a few returns that should have stayed in the end zone.

WR Breshad Perriman, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 102 - 0 (12 targets)
Perriman continues to make the most of his opportunities while Evans and Godwin are out, securing seven of twelve targets this week for over 100 yards. Perriman made an awesome effort on a leaping catch over a defender that picked up 27 yards up the right sideline in the 1st quarter. Perriman had a step on his defender in the end zone but was overthrown by Winston on a deep post route in the 1st quarter. Winston nearly found Perriman for another 32 yard gain up the sideline in the 2nd, but the receiver stepped slightly out of bounds with one foot as he completed the catch. He hauled in a 13 yard gain later in the same drive. Perriman secured another 16 yard gain later in the 4th quarter on a quick slant.

WR Justin Watson, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 43 - 1 (10 targets)
Watson worked as the number two option opposite Breshad Perriman, drawing ten targets total. He was the target on Winston's first interception, an out route that was underthrown by the quarterback and jumped by cornerback Bradley Roby for a pick six. Watson had a step on his defender on a deep corner route in the end zone later in the 1st, but stumbled out of his break and couldn't haul in a surefire touchdown from Winston. Watson finally got on the board later in the 2nd quarter with a comeback route for a short gain. Watson worked his way open as Winston scrambled to the right for a short touchdown at the end of the 1st half of play. Watson picked up 9 more yards on a quick slant in the 3rd quarter then had a clutch conversion on 3rd and 4 during the last drive of the 4th quarter. Watson is strong in the middle of the field, playing a lot like Mike Evans does in that regard, but he hasn't shown much as a downfield/deep ball threat thus far.

WR Ishmael Hyman, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 31 - 0 (3 targets)
Hyman saw his second week of limited action in the receiver rotation, securing one of three targets. He worked his way open on a deep crossing route while Winston scrambled to buy time for a 31 yard completion at the end of the 1st half, setting up a short touchdown pass to Watson just before halftime.

TE O.J. Howard, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 46 - 0 (7 targets)
Howard drew plenty of targets with seven, but secured only three of them. His first reception was a 13 yard out route late in the 1st quarter. Howard made an impressive diving catch for an 18 yard gain on a 2nd quarter crossing route. Winston found him across the middle for an 15 yard gain on the next drive.

TE Cameron Brate, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (5 targets)
Brate was targeted in the end zone at the end of the 1st half, but had the ball batted away in tight coverage. Brate got open for a 12 yard gain up the left seam in the 3rd quarter. He had a brutal drop on a slant route that would have converted 4th down on the potential game winning/tying drive at the end of the 4th quarter.