HOUSTON — When the Houston Texans drafted Will Fuller in the first round this year the goal was to take some pressure off Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
So far their plan is working perfectly.
Fuller finished with four receptions for 104 yards in Houston’s 19-12 win over Kansas City (1-1) on Sunday to become the first rookie in franchise history with consecutive 100-yard receiving games to start his career. The 21st overall pick in this year’s draft had 107 yards receiving in his NFL debut last week and is the first player selected in the first round of a draft to achieve the feat.
Fuller’s presence hasn’t yet eliminated the double teams that Hopkins faced constantly last season, but it has certainly made teams think twice about keying on him alone.
“It’s been good,” Hopkins said. “Defenses can’t just focus on me (but) it’s only been two games … he still has a lot to prove.”
Hopkins led the team with 113 yards receiving and a touchdown on Sunday to give Houston (2-0) two players with at least 100 yards receiving for the eighth time in franchise history and the first time since 2013.
Fuller, who ran a 4.32 40-yard-dash at the combine, has already shown a knack for taking short passes and turning them into big gains. While coach Bill O’Brien has raved about Fuller, he wasn’t in much of a mood to compliment the offense on Sunday after Houston failed to cash in on multiple opportunities in the red zone.
“We take a lot of pride in our offense and I thought we did some good things,” O’Brien said. “I’m not saying we didn’t, I’m just saying that there’s a whole lot of improvement we need to make.”
Some things we learned in Houston’s win over the Chiefs.
Second-year cornerback Marcus Peters led Kansas City’s defense on Sunday with two interceptions. But he drew the ire of coach Andy Reid for a taunting penalty he received for wagging his finger in the face of an opponent like NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo did after blocking a shot.
“He had some good plays. There are some things he’ll continue to work on,” Reid said. “He’s a competitive kid, and that happens there. He’ll get better at that.”
WATT FEELING BETTER
Houston star J.J. Watt was feeling better in his second game back after missing training camp and all four preseason games after surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back in July. He had 1 1/2 sacks, two quarterback hits and recovered a fumble on Sunday after failing to get a sack in Week 1.
Despite his performance, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year still feels like he’s got a way to go before he’s back to 100 percent.
“I don’t think I’m all the way there yet,” he said. “But I definitely felt a little better today than I did last week and I think it’s going to continue that way.”
WARE NOT USED TO FUMBLES
Spencer Ware had the first fumble of his three-year NFL career on Sunday when Houston punched out the ball and Kevin Johnson scooped it up and returned it 52 yards. Not only had Ware not fumbled in the NFL, he said that he only fumbled twice in college and that he didn’t lose either of those balls.
“I never lost a fumble,” he said. “That is something that we don’t condone and it’s not acceptable.”
Ware has started both games for Kansas City this season with Jamaal Charles still recovering from last year’s knee surgery.
MISTAKES HARD TO OVERCOME
Reid was disappointed that his team lost three fumbles and had nine penalties for 77 yards on Sunday.
“The margin between winning and losing is so small in this league (that if) you do stupid things, it’s going to be tough to come out on the right side of the score,” he said.
CLOWNEY COMING ALONG
Jadeveon Clowney, the top overall pick in 2014, continued to be disruptive and had three tackles, including one for a loss, two quarterback hits and batted down one of Alex Smith’s passes. The Texans have been impressed with Clowney this season after he failed to make an impact in his first two injury-plagued seasons.
He’s happy with his improvement, but disappointed that he was unable to take down Smith.
“I’ve got to get them sacks, man,” he said. “Pressures (are) good but you want sacks at the end of the day. So I’ve got to get there a step faster. But being disruptive is good, get them all messed up in the backfield and the guys come and make plays.”
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