Deshaun Watson tossed a season-best five touchdown passes and the Houston Texans extended their winning streak to five games with a 42-23 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday at NRG Stadium.
Watson delivered a performance reminiscent of his breakthrough yet injury-shortened rookie season, completing 16 of 20 attempts for 239 yards. He led the Texans (5-3) on three scoring drives that elapsed less than a minute on the clock, including a pair of two-play, second-half marches that sandwiched the second of three field goals from Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders.
After Miami (4-4) closed the deficit to 21-17 on a trick play — receiver Danny Amendola completed a 28-yard scoring pass to Kenyan Drake at the 5:03 mark of the third quarter — Watson connected with Will Fuller on a 73-yard touchdown pass that rebuilt the 11-point lead.
On the second play of the ensuing possession, Watson found DeAndre Hopkins alone in the secondary for a 49-yard pass play that extended the advantage to 35-20 11 seconds into the fourth. Watson and Hopkins hooked up again on a 2-yard pass later in the final quarter.
Watson also tossed a pair of scoring strikes to rookie tight end Jordan Thomas, the second of which covered two yards and followed a 58-yard dash by running back Lamar Miller. Thomas’ first touchdown, a 13-yarder at the 14:14 mark of the second quarter, capped a two-play, 36-yard sprint that followed a Justin Reid interception of Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Osweiler finished 21-of-37 for 241 yards. His fumble late in the first half, returned by Texans cornerback Natrell Jamerson for a score, was reversed upon review into an incomplete pass.
Miami caught another break earlier in the game when a dubious personal foul penalty on Joel Health enabled the Dolphins to erase a 42-yard Sanders field goal and precluded a 12-yard touchdown run from Drake that gave Miami a 7-0 lead at the 4:58 mark of the first quarter.
But Miller, who rushed for 133 yards, covered 33 yards on five carries on the subsequent possession for Houston, and his 1-yard touchdown pulled the Texans even. Reid followed with his interception and the Texans scored again 77 seconds later, securing the lead for good.
Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker finished with six receptions for a career-high 134 yards.
The Texans, who entered play 31st in red-zone efficiency, finished 4-for-4 in the red zone.
—Field Level Media