Clemson Pros: Hopkins sets franchise record, but Texans miss Watson touch


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Hopkins has scored a touchdown in five consecutive games, which is a franchise record and a first this season in the NFL. (USA TODAY Sports-Matthew Emmons)
Hopkins has scored a touchdown in five consecutive games, which is a franchise record and a first this season in the NFL. (USA TODAY Sports-Matthew Emmons)

The workload didn't change for DeAndre Hopkins in Houston's first game without Deshaun Watson this season, but the rookie star Watson's touch was missing in the clutch Sunday.

Last week, Watson's promising 2017 run came to an end after suffering a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in practice.

Sunday, Hopkins was targeted 16 times in a 20-14 loss despite the Colts blanketing him in coverage, and the former Clemson receiver hauled in six catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

A fifth consecutive game with a touchdown reception set a franchise record, and Hopkins is the only NFL receiver this season to accomplish that kind of run.


That's little consolation in the loss, however, as Houston dropped to 3-5 despite a chance to win late.

Former starter, turned backup, turned starter again Tom Savage, connected with Hopkins to set up a goal-to-go situation in the final minute. Savage couldn't zip in a throw for a game-winner, however, with his top target double and triple-covered - and the Colts' pressure forced a fumble on the final play of the game.

After struggling as a unit all contest, Hopkins did take some positives from the late-game offense.

“(That) showed we can move the ball,” Hopkins said. “We just have to do it more consistently, just come out and start fast and not wait until late to pick things up.”

Former Tigers on the Houston defense all got in on the action, with rookie Carlos Watkins notching a tackle for loss (three total tackles), D.J. Reader tallying four solo stops and Marcus Gilchrist posting four tackles (three solo).

Quick hits: Sammy Watkins saw two targets in a 51-17 win at the New York Giants, but his one catch was a deep-shot 67-yard touchdown. In the same number of games, Watkins eclipsed his TD total from last season with three scores over eight contests. He's averaging 17.4 yards per reception with 19 catches in 31 targets...On the other sideline, Giants RB Wayne Gallman was limited to 41 yards on nine carries. LB B.J. Goodson was on the inactive list with an ankle injury...Cardinals receiver Jaron Brown also had a one catch-one TD day with a three-yard reception in a 20-10 win over San Francisco. Andre Ellington (quad injury) returned to action with two catches for 14 yards...Vic Beasley totaled his fourth sack of the season with five total tackles and two TFL in a 20-17 loss to Carolina. Grady Jarrett put up six tackles (four solo) with one for loss...Dolphins Cordrea Tankersley and Andre Branch each got in on three tackles, with Tankersley notching a pass defended and Branch, a TFL...Jets kicker Chandler Catanzaro hit both of his field goals attempts as well as all of his extra points in a 34-21 win over the Bills. Bills DE Shaq Lawson posted three tackles (one solo)...Adam Humphries saw two catches in two targets for 14 yards in a Tampa Bay loss at New Orleans...49ers punter Bradley Pinion averaged 44 yards on eight punts, landing three inside the 20 in the loss to Arizona. Pinion leads the league in punt attempts (52), punts inside the 20 (22) and ranks sixth in net punt average (43.3).





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Tags: Andre Branch, Marcus Gilchrist, Vic Beasley, Chandler Catanzaro, DeAndre Hopkins, Adam Humphries, Grady Jarrett, B.J. Goodson, Bradley Pinion, Carlos Watkins, Shaq Lawson

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