By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
The Houston Texans beat the Detroit Lions 20-13 Sunday to improve their record to 5-3 and remain in sole possession of first place in the AFC South division.
The Texans were more methodical than spectacular as the offense limited their turnovers and the defense held the Lions to 58 rushing yards, well below their season average of 90. After a scoreless first quarter, Houston tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz caught a 6-yard pass from Brock Osweiler to give the Texans a 7-0 lead. With 7 minutes to go in the half, Lamar Miller scored on a 1-yard run to up the score to 14-0. On that drive DeAndre Hopkins made a one-handed catch on an Osweiler pass to set up the Texans at the 1-yard line.
“That was an amazing catch,” offensive lineman Duane Brown said. “I was blocking my man and had a great view of it. I was one of the first to go celebrate with him.”
Then with 32 seconds to go in the half, Osweiler threw his only interception of the game, giving the ball to the Lions on their own 19-yard line. The Lions took only four plays to get to the Texans 29-yard line where Matt Prater kicked a 47-yard field goal to make the score at the half 14-3.
Neither team could move the ball in the third quarter but the Texans did add a Nick Novak field goal to make the score 17-3 going into the fourth quarter. The Lions made it interesting by scoring a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter to pull within 7 at 17-10. The Texans put the game out of reach on another Novak field goal with 4:09 to go in the game.
Detroit’s Prater kicked a 34-yard field goal with 2:53 to go in the game but the Texans recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock for a 20-13 win.
Brock Osweiler was 20-29 for 186 yards and one touchdown.
“Brock did a nice job of finding our tight ends, and they did a good job of getting open,” Coach Bill O’Brien said.
“I thought Brock had a much-improved game,” Texans’ owner Bob McNair said. “He made a lot of good throws and I think he is going to continue to get better. You know he is basically still a rookie. He is going to make some mistakes, but he has the talent, the ability and the leadership for the team to have confidence in him.”
Lamar Miller had 17 carries for 56 yards and one touchdown.
“We knew we didn’t run as well as we wanted early in the game, so everyone just decided to work a little harder and finish our blocks better and be better on our double-teams. That was great to see in the fourth quarter,” Brown said.
Brian Cushing led the defense with seven tackles while Jadeveon Clowney had a sack.
“I thought the defense did an excellent job, both on the rush and the coverage,” O’Brien said.
McNair was happy with the win.
“It was an outstanding win. I think we are in very good position. If you had asked us at the start of the year, we would have been very happy to be 5-3,” McNair said. “I think everybody has stepped up their game. Losing J.J. (Watt) was a big loss. That really hurt our run defense, but everyone has stepped up. We will just take the rest of the season one game at a time.”
The Texans have a bye week and then travel to Jacksonville on Nov. 13.