HOU-TEN Grades: DeAndre Hopkins shines in rout of Titans
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Texans’ 34-6 win over the Titans:
– QB Brandon Weeden (+2.0) had his best grade since early in the 2013 season. Much of his success is due to the connection and trust he had with DeAndre Hopkins (+4.0). Weeden knew that if he threw the ball up for Hopkins, the WR would be able to take over the game—but more on that below. Weeden threw for 200 yards, with 177 of those yards coming in the air (not after the catch).
– DeAndre Hopkins (+4.0) is in the midst of his best season in a young career, currently the sixth-ranked receiver at 91.4 (tied with A.J. Green). Versus the Titans, Hopkins was able to use his size, speed, and strength to bully the Titans’ defensive backs and give Weeden a weapon he could trust when throwing the ball up for grabs. Hopkins was lined up against Coty Sensabaugh most of the game, where he recorded four of his seven catches and 89 yards against the fourth-year CB.
– While J.J. Watt (+7.8) was once again dominate, the Texans’ secondary stood up against the Titans’ offense and took way the passing game. The Texans used nine different players in the secondary as the game turned into a blowout, and every single player grade 0.0 or higher. Outside of Kevin Johnson allowing six catches for 71 yards, the rest of the Texans’ secondary allowed 10 catches on 27 targets for 69 yards.
DL J.J. Watt (+7.8)
WR DeAndre Hopkins (+4.0)
S Eddie Pleasant (+3.0)
S Andre Hal (+2.1)
S Quintin Demps (+2.1)
CB Kareem Jackson (+2.1)
– QB Zach Mettenberger’s (-5.4) performance against the Texans closed the tiniest possibility of their being a quarterback controversy. Mettenberger had difficulty breaking down the Texans’ defense when they did not bring the blitz and forced Mettenberger to find the right targets in Houston’s zones. While he only threw one interception, he was lucky not to have another couple picked off as he tried to force the ball into windows that were not there. After last week’s game, it looked like Mettenberger had a connection with second-round rookie Dorial Green-Beckham (-1.6), throwing the ball high and letting the 6-foot-7-inch receiver make the grab; however, versus the Texans, Green-Beckham was targeted twice, both of which were incomplete.
– The nine-year pro Michael Griffin (+3.1) has had an up and down career, where some years he looks like he is on the verge of becoming one of the better safeties in the league, and then other years, there begins to be question as to why he is being unchallenged as a starter. Against the Texans, he was at his best; Griffin recorded 11 tackles, nine of which were for stops. He recorded a ridiculous run stop percentage of 22.5, easily the highest of the week for safeties. The majority of those plays came with Griffin further than 8 yards from the line of scrimmage; he was very quick to read run, fill his gap, and make the tackle.
– While punters very rarely get there due, Brett Kern (+6.4) was on fire against the Texans. Kern had many opportunities to punt, and he did so with consistently deep distance and great location. Two of his punt were put just out of bounds, but still gaining near maximum yardage. The only reason his average looks lower than it should be, at 47.4, is due to him having to punt twice when the Titans’ offense stalled inside the Texans’ half of the field. Over the course of the season, Kern has been excellent; he is now the second-highest graded punter on the season, only behind the Colts’ Pat McAfee.
P Brett Kern (+6.4)
DL Jurrell Casey (+4.0)
S Michael Griffin (+3.1)
LB Brian Orakpo (+2.8)
OL Chance Warmack (+2.7)