Watson's 5 touchdowns carry Texans to rout of Titans
HOUSTON - Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson followed a breakout performance last weekend in New England with a record-setting display in his third career start as the Houston Texans ran roughshod over the Tennessee Titans with a 57-14 win on Sunday at NRG Stadium. Watson completed 25 of 34 attempts for 283 yards and became the first rookie quarterback to throw for four touchdowns and rush for another since Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton in 1961. Watson tossed scoring passes of 16 and 10 yards to Will Fuller, making his first start of the season after missing three games with a broken collarbone, an 8-yard strike to DeAndre Hopkins, and another 8-yarder to Lamar Miller with 11:19 remaining in the contest. Watson added a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first half as Houston (2-2) extended to a 30-14 lead. The Texans have won six consecutive home games in the series between AFC South rivals and nine of 11 overall. The Titans (2-2), riding high following consecutive victories over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, did not record a first down until the second quarter and trailed 21-0 by that juncture. Tennessee also lost quarterback Marcus Mariota to injury. Mariota passed for 96 yards and recorded touchdown runs of 34 and two yards in the first half, but did not return following the intermission, sidelined by a hamstring injury. He also tossed two interceptions, both picked off by Texans free safety Andre Hal. Houston converted the first turnover into a 2-yard Miller touchdown run to ignite their offensive explosion. The 57 points represented a franchise high for the Texans. Tennessee, which entered the weekend ranked second in the NFL in rushing yards, mustered just 86 yards on 19 attempts. NOTES: Texans WR Braxton Miller was a healthy scratch, an indication the team is displeased with his development and production. A third-round selection in 2016, Miller has just three catches for 25 yards this season and 18 career receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown. ... Titans second-year FS Kevin Byard recorded his first career interception with 10 seconds remaining in the first half, picking off a pass intended for Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins just outside of the end zone. ... The Texans recorded a touchdown on their first three possessions of the game for the first time since Oct. 19, 2008, against Detroit. ... With his 21-yard reception early in the second quarter, Titans TE Delanie Walker surpassed 5,000 receiving yards for his career. The Walker catch resulted in the initial first down of the game for Tennessee.