The Duel

3 Stats That Prove the Texans Are Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders

Zach Brunner
Deshaun Watson scored his first career playoff win on Saturday.
Deshaun Watson scored his first career playoff win on Saturday. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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After coming back from a 16-point deficit and surviving an overtime scare against the Buffalo Bills, the Houston Texans are moving onto the next round of the NFL Playoffs to take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

While many are discounting the Texans and what they can do in the AFC Playoffs, there are signs that this team can be legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Here's three stats that prove just that.

1. DeAndre Hopkins is a True Go-To Guy

DeAndre Hopkins finished the season with 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns.
DeAndre Hopkins finished the season with 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns. / Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

All of the best teams in sports history have that go-to guy that they're able to count on in crucial moments in the game, whether that be on third-and-long or in overtime. The Wild Card round proved again that the Texans have that guy, and his name is DeAndre Hopkins. Widely regarded as one of the best WRs in the league, Hopkins finished the regular season with 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns on 104 catches. He can beat any one-on-one coverage, which he proved against the Bills, finishing with six catches for 90 yards despite spending much of the game matched up with a lock-down corner in Tre'Davious White.

2. Deshaun Watson is a Do-It-All Quarterback

Deshaun Watson passed for 3,852 yards and ran for 413 yards this season.
Deshaun Watson passed for 3,852 yards and ran for 413 yards this season. / Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

While most of the attention on quarterbacks has been on Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, Deshaun Watson has again been great for the Texans, and his overtime pass after breaking free of two defenders defines his game perfectly. He makes big plays in big moments, completed 67.3 percent of his passes this season (No. 6 in NFL), and he also added 29 first downs with his legs, proving he can do it all for this team.

3. The Defense is Much Better With Watt Back

JJ Watt made his return during the Wild Card round.
JJ Watt made his return during the Wild Card round. / Bob Levey/Getty Images

Beating many expectations, J.J. Watt returned from a torn pectoral in the Wild Card Round, and he got a big sack against the Bills that helped swing momentum. There is zero doubting his individual skill, and the team as a whole has played much better with Watt in the lineup. Over his last 20 games, Watt has 38 QB hits, while the team has a 14-6 record when he plays. His return came just in time, as the Texans will now likely be facing off with top offensive teams the rest of the way.


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