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Falcons' opponent: 5 things to know about the Texans 

The Falcons (1-3) head West for a two-game road swing starting with a matchup against the Houston Texans (2-2).

Atlanta is 0-2 against AFC South teams so far this season and will be looking to get their second win against the Texans on Sunday.


Here are five things to know about Atlanta's upcoming opponent:

Texans struggling to protect Watson

After being sacked 62 times in 2018, the Texans made a number of moves to fortify their offensive line. Houston drafted Tytus Howard in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and traded with the Dolphins for tackle Laremy Tunsil. The Texans have allowed 18 sacks on Deshaun Watson already this season, most recently giving up six in their loss to the Carolina Panthers (2-2).

Hopkins will test Atlanta's secondary

Much like Matt Ryan has Julio Jones, Deshaun Watson has one of the league's top receivers in DeAndre Hopkins at his disposal.

The 27-year-old has started every game he's played in as a Texan. In six seasons, Hopkins has been named to the first-team AP All-Pro team three different times.

Hopkins has caught 24 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Texans pass-rush is no joke

Let's start with J.J. Watt, who has been one of the best defensive players in football for years now. Watt has eight quarterback hits and three sacks so far this year. But this season, he's not even the best player on the Texans' defense. Keep an eye on outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus who leads the league in quarterback hits with six and forced fumbles with four. He also has recorded five sacks and three tackles for loss. Atlanta's offensive line will have to rebound from a tough game against the Titans where they allowed five sacks on Ryan.

Duke has Texans' run game rollin'

The Texans traded with the Browns in early August for Duke Johnson looking to add depth at the running back position behind Lamar Miller. A few weeks later, Miller tore his ACL and it would become Johnson's show.

Houston has the No. 11 rushing attack averaging 120.3 yards per game. Johnson has rushed for 146 yards and four touchdowns. Carlos Hyde backs up Johnson and has also contributed to the Texans' rushing success. Hyde has rushed for 250 yards on 52 carries.

Will Watson's big-play ability haunt Falcons?

Watson's ability to make plays with his arm and on the ground is what makes him such a unique talent. He became the fastest player to record 50 pass touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns through 27 games.

With Hopkins making plays down the field and Watson's ability to extend plays, the duo is one of the best in the league. Watson has thrown for 938 yards and six touchdowns.

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