By Shawn S. Lealos
The Houston Texans came into their Week 8 game with a lot of questions about their quarterback, Brock Osweiler. The Detroit Lions came into the game with quarterback Matthew Stafford playing the best football of his career. However, the Texans are undefeated in Houston this year and kept that record intact with a nice 20-13 win over the Lions on Sunday.
Here is a look at the Houston Texans team grades for their big Week 8 win.
Brock Osweiler joined the Houston Texans this season and was supposed to be their franchise quarterback. However, he has made too many mistakes so far and the Texans are struggling for it. In this week’s game with the Detroit Lions, Osweiler once again left something to be desired but did enough to win. Osweiler threw his eighth interception of the season but also threw his eighth touchdown pass.
Lamar Miller has also been a free agent disappointment for the Texans but he did score the Texans’ second touchdown of the game while carrying the ball 17 times for 56 yards. The top receivers for Houston were star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, who had four catches for 44 yards, and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, who continues to play well this year, with five receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. It was enough to win but Osweiler needs to play better if the Texans want to continue on a path toward winning their division.
The key to beating the Detroit Lions is stopping Matthew Stafford. The Houston Texans did a decent job of that on Sunday and while Stafford still threw for 240 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions, the Texans buckled down and mostly kept the Lions out of the end zone. The only touchdown came on a short pass to Theo Riddick in the fourth quarter and the Texans were able to keep the Lions from pouring on the points like they have been the past few weeks.
The Texans only sacked Stafford one time when Jadeveon Clowney reached the quarterback and the defense also knocked him down three other times. The Texans limited the Lions top two receivers, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, to 10 catches for only 75 yards. What worked here is that Houston bent but didn’t break.
Special Teams: A
Nick Novak was perfect on the night and hit both of his field goals and both point-after attempts. That is pretty huge for someone who has already missed three field goals and an extra point already this season. If he had missed any of those this week, this could have been a different game at the end. The return game was decent and Shane Lechler had an impressive 50.75-yard average on four punts, putting three of them behind the 20.
Bill O’Brien has been questionable at points this year but this week he put his Texans in a position to win. Osweiler was taking fewer chances but was completing a nice percentage of his passes and the defense was coached to limit what Matthew Stafford did against them. Overall, the coaching was solid and did enough for Houston to walk out with the win at home.
The Houston Texans remain undefeated at home and winless on the road. This big win over a tough Detroit Lions team came at a nice time because the Texans get their bye week now with a one-game lead in the AFC South. No one can pass them in the standings during their bye and they have a chance to let some banged up players regain their health before returning in two weeks to take on the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars.