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Hopkins has 2 TDs, Texans top Colts to top AFC South

Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins hooked up for a pair of TDs to lead Houston past Indy.
Credit: AP
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates with teammates after conceding on a pass with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

HOUSTON — Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins and finished with 298 yards to help the Houston Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts 20-17 on Thursday night to take the AFC South lead.

The Texans (7-4), who were embarrassed by Baltimore 41-7 on Sunday, trailed by four early in the fourth quarter when Hopkins got in front of Pierre Desir and stretched out to haul in a 30-yard reception to give the Texans a 20-17 lead. The Texans got things going on that drive with a 33-yard run by Carlos Hyde.

Houston's defense stepped up after that, forcing a punt on the next drive before stopping the Colts (6-5) on fourth-and-7 with 3 minutes left. Jacoby Brissett threw for 129 yards, and came up a yard shy of the first down on Indy's fourth-down attempt late in the fourth quarter.

Hopkins finished with had 94 yards receiving and his first TD reception came on a 35-yards grab in the second quarter. Will Fuller, who returned after sitting out three games with a hamstring injury, had seven catches for 140 yards for the Texans.

T.Y. Hilton had topped 100 receiving yards in four of his last six games against the Texans and entered averaging 133.3 receiving yards in seven career games at NRG Stadium. He wasn't a factor, finishing with just 18 yards receiving in his return after missing three games with a calf injury.

There were about 6 minutes left in the third quarter when Jonathan Williams, who helped fill in for injured starter Marlon Mack, wriggled away from three defenders and dashed 13 yards for a touchdown to put the Colts up 17-10.

Fuller had a 51-yard reception on the first play of Houston's next drive, but the Texans couldn't move the ball after that and settled for a 36-yard field goal to cut the lead to four.

The Texans led 3-0 after a field goal early in the second quarter.

There were about 8 minutes left in the second when Kenny Moore tipped a pass from Watson and intercepted it. It was the first time Watson had thrown an interception at home since Oct. 14, 2018, against the Bills, a streak of 303 attempts which was the longest active run in the NFL.

The Colts cashed in on the mistake when Brissett scrambled 5 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-3.

There were 2 minutes left in the first half when Watson avoided the rush and found Hopkins wide open in the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown pass to put Houston back on top 10-7.

Indianapolis added a field goal at the end of the first half to leave it tied at 10l at halftime.


Houston ILB Dylan Cole injured his calf in the second half and didn't return. ... Texans DE Carlos Watkins left in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury.


Colts: Host Tennessee on Dec. 1.

Texans: Host New England on Dec. 1.

Recap the game below:

Fourth quarter

Carlos Hyde started the final quarter with a big run into Colts' territory.

Deshaun Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 30-yard TD to regain the lead for the Texans, 20-17. It was the second hookup of the game for the star wideout and franchise quarterback.

Houston's defense held on the Colts' ensuing possession, forcing a punt.

Houston was able to hold onto the ball and run the clock out to secure the win.

Third quarter

The Texans got the ball to start the second half and promptly moved into Colts' territory thanks to a big play from Deshaun Watson to Will Fuller. The drive stalled, however, and Houston failed to pick up a fourth-and-short.

Indianapolis took over at their own 34-yard line for their first drive of the second half.

Jonathan Williams ran in a 13-yard touchdown with about 5:30 left in the third quarter to give the Colts a 17-10 lead.

Watson connected with Fuller for another big gain on Houston's next drive, but Houston had to settle for a 36-yard field goal, cutting Indy's lead to 17-13.

The Texans forced the Colts to punt on the next drive, but Indy pinned Houston deep in their own territory to start the drive.

Second quarter

The Texans put together a solid drive that resulted in a field goal with just under 14 minutes to go in the second quarter.

The Texans forced the Colts to punt on the next possession, but Deshaun Watson threw an interception on the first play of the drive, setting the Colts up with good field position.

To cap off the short-field drive, Jacoby Brissett scrambled in from the 5-yard line to give the Colts a 6-3 lead. They tacked on the extra point to make it 7-3.

Houston got off to a good start on its next drive thanks to a long run by Duke Johnson that got them near Colts' territory.

At the two-minute warning, the Texans' offense was operating at the Colts' 32-yard line with a 2nd & 12. On the first play after the warning, Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a touchdown, putting the Texans back on top, 10-7.

Indianapolis mounted a solid drive at the end of the half, with Adam Vinatieri converting a 36-yard field goal as time expired to tie the score 10-10.

First quarter

The Texans and Colts traded a pair of scoreless drives to start the game.

Houston pinned Indy at their own 1-yard line to start its second drive of the game. Indianapolis was forced to punt after picking up one first down.

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