Deshaun Watson threw for five touchdowns and Lamar Miller ran for 133 yards in the first sighting of last season’s Watson-led offense.
Will Fuller had a 73-yard touchdown reception and DeAndre Hopkins scored one of his two touchdowns from 49 yards out. One of Miller’s runs went for 58 as the Texans overwhelmed Miami.
The day was tainted, however, by the season-ending ACL tear suffered by Fuller late in the game. With precious few receiving options able to divert attention from Hopkins, the Texans went out and traded for Demaryius Thomas at the trade deadline.
Thomas’ first game as a Texan could be emotional as it comes against his former teammates from Denver. The former Bronco will not only be an asset on the field, but he’ll provide a good locker room influence to a young Texans offense with sights on the playoffs.
Denver believes rookie Courtney Sutton is ready to take on a bigger role opposite Emmanuel Sanders. That allowed them to deal with Thomas, who was unlikely to be re-signed after the season. Sutton shows ability beyond his years and could supplant Sanders as the number one receiver before the end of the year.
Rookies rule in Denver with running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman leading the rushing attack and DaeSean Harrison ready to step into the third receiver role.
Denver also drafted linebacker Bradley Chubb, who has five sacks over the past two weeks, and the fourth-highest rated, an off-ball linebacker in the league(per Pro Football Focus), Josey Jewell.
Injuries and notes
Fuller is on injured reserve and Thomas is active for Sunday.
Tight end Ryan Griffin and rookie receiver Keke Coutee are listed as questionable for Week 9.
Linebacker Zach Cunningham remains out with a knee injury.
Denver’s Royce Freeman is listed as questionable, as are wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie (hip) and the rookie Harrison.
Denver’s offensive line and linebacking corps are a little banged up heading into Sunday, too.
General manager John Elway should survive another quarterback faux pas as long as this latest draft class remains as strong as it looks now.
Manager Vance Joseph could be another story. Elway will force Joseph to make better use of rookies Sutton and Harrison with his trade of Thomas. Sutton’s position as the WR-3 to this point could be another negative note on his year-end performance review.
Bill O’Brien’s quarterback looked healthier than he has in weeks against Miami, and that led to a banner day for the Texans offense. We’ve always imagined what O’Brien would do if he ever had a good passer. Playoff football is more than possible in Houston.
How to watch the Broncos-Texans game
If you live near the Rocky Mountains or down into Texas, you might get this CBS Sports broadcast of the Broncos-Texans game.
For millions of NFL fans, that will mean watching the game on Fubo TV.
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Read More: NFL Week 10 Game Preview: Falcons at Browns
Who will win the Broncos-Texans game?
Houston’s five-game winning streak is on the line in the thin air of Mile High Stadium. Home field advantage and the readiness of Demaryius Thomas versus Courtland Sutton in their new roles will make the difference.