This week’s studs and duds is as heavy on the studs as Dolly Parton’s bedazzled jumpsuit. When a team wins 57-14 like the Texans did over the Titans, finding anyone to single out on the first watch as a dud is being nitpicky. Therefore, we are overflowing with studs in Texans blue, red and white.
Stud: Deshaun Watson
The rookie quarterback produced five touchdowns, four form his arm and one from his legs. Watson turned in an outstanding performance, adeptly dissecting the Titans defense with shrewd pre-snap work and outstanding athleticism and field vision once the play commenced.
Stud: DeAndre Hopkins
Watson found Hopkins 10 times in 12 targets, including a touchdown. There was also a quick screen which got Hopkins the ball in space, a great new wrinkle to Bill O’Brien’s offense which suits No. 10 quite well with his skills after the catch.
Dud: Whitney Mercilus
Right off the bat, it needs to be stated unequivocally: Mercilus did not play poorly. The outside linebacker falls into the “dud” column simply because he didn’t make any sort of impact on the game. It was hard to locate him most plays, and he failed to make any plays anywhere near the backfield, which is what the Texans are paying him handsomely to do. The Texans didn’t need him to be great against Tennessee, fortunately.
Stud: Andre Hal
The Titans attempted four passes at the Texans safety in his primary coverage. He caught two of them, including an athletically impressive leaping snag which seized the momentum early. It was Hal’s best all-around game as a Texan.
Stud: Chris Clark
The much-maligned offensive line played well against Tennessee. Clark at left tackle stood out for his consistent run blocking and lack of egregious errors in pass protection. That’s a step up from recent weeks. Despite the shuffling at guard next to him, Clark has quietly improved every week.
Stud: Dylan Cole
Anytime a defensive player scores a touchdown, he earns the stud stamp. Cole notched a pick-six to put another layer of icing on the game. Just for good measure the undrafted rookie LB bagged his first career sack too.
© 2017 USATODAY.COM