What We Saw: Week 15

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 15 of the 2020 NFL season.

Texans @ Colts


This game was very similar to the Week 13 matchup between these two teams, as the Colts started out with a double-digit lead in the 1st half before Houston clawed it’s way back into it. Zach Pascal was on the receiving end of two Philip Rivers touchdowns, including the game-winner with under two minutes to go. David Johnson caught all 11 of his targets for over 100 receiving yards, giving managers who have stuck with him a glimpse of the DJ of old. Jonathan Taylor continued his hot streak on the ground, scoring a touchdown and averaging 5.2 yards per carry. The game ended in an eerily similar fashion as the Week 13 outing, on a red zone fumble as Houston was trying to tie the game up and send it to OT. Indianapolis held on for a 27-20 victory.



Houston Texans




Deshaun Watson: 33/41, 373 yards, 2 TD, 5 sacks, fumble | 6 carries, 25 yards


The Texans came into this game having punted on 12 of their 14 opening drives this season. In Week 15, they started off with a string of nice plays to get them near midfield, but Deshaun Watson stumbled over himself on 3rd and short and ended up getting sacked by DeForest Buckner. On their next drive, Watson fumbled as Indianapolis rushed five and got good pressure on him. This would be a recurring theme throughout this game (the pressure, not the fumble), as Watson was sacked four times in the first half alone. It helped stall out a few drives, and after going down 14-0 early it looked like this game might end up as a blowout. But the Texans didn’t give up, and Watson hit Chad Hansen for a wide-open TD late in the 2nd quarter to put the Texans on the board. After a three-and-out, Watson led the Texans down the field to the 5-yard line with 30ish seconds remaining in the half but was forced to throw the ball away on three straight plays and settle for a field goal as the Colts continued to get pressure on him.

Watson led Houston down the field on a drive late in the 3rd quarter, connecting with David Johnson for a 31-yard reception along the way, but the drive stalled when fullback Scottie Phillips caught a ball on third down that was initially ruled a 1st down but was called back after review. Houston had to settle for a field goal on that drive as well.

On their second to last drive, Watson scrambled to convert a third-down play and then found Keke Coutee for a 9-yard touchdown on a bullet of a pass over the middle. Watson led the team down to the red zone once again, a recurring theme in this game, but finally converted a much needed seven points.



On their final drive, the Texans were helped out by a 15-yard personal foul penalty after Watson scrambled and was hit out of bounds. He made a nice throw to Brandin Cooks but then took a costly sack a few plays later. Credit has to be given to the Indianapolis defense – they played the bend-but-don’t-break style of defense on Sunday and it prevailed despite giving up nearly 400 yards through the air. They got plenty of pressure and made Watson uncomfortable for most of the day, but Watson is a stud and he can overcome adversity that many other QBs would easily fold under.


Running Backs


David Johnson: 8 carries, 27 yards, fumble | 11 targets, 11 receptions, 106 yards

Buddy Howell: 5 carries, 22 yards

Scottie Phillips: 2 carries, 9 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards


Duke Johnson was inactive for this game with a neck injury, so the backfield ran through David Johnson. He had a couple of nice chunk runs early on, but the Texans mostly abandoned the run in the 2nd quarter as the Texans were down 14-0 early. He had a nice 15 yard run in the 3rd quarter called back because of an illegal formation penalty, but he made up for it a few plays later for a 31-yard reception. He was targeted a ton in the 2nd half and his big fantasy day was the result of his 11 receptions. This was just a result of a team who threw the ball a ton late in the game as they tried to claw their way back. He’s not the player he once was, but he does show flashes at times and is the clear #1 back as long as Duke is out.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Brandin Cooks: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 59 yards

Keke Coutee: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 53 yards, TD, fumble

Jordan Akins: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 50 yards

Chad Hansen: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 55 yards, TD

Kahale Warring: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 32 yards

Pharaoh Brown: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards


Brandin Cooks missed Week 14 but he did return for Sunday’s game against Indianapolis. It seemed like he was missing in action for almost the entire game, that is until he caught a phenomenal toe-tapping catch on the sideline on the Texans’ final drive of the game. I honestly didn’t realize he had six receptions until I looked at the box score – I simply don’t remember seeing him much at all in this one, which isn’t what you want out of a #1 receiver in an offense that throws for nearly 400 yards in the game.

Both Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen caught touchdowns in this one, but you’ve already seen the extent of Coutee’s impact in this game in the GIFs above. Hansen’s 38-yard touchdown came on a play where he literally didn’t have a defender anywhere within 20 yards of him. It was a huge mistake by the Indianapolis defense that breathed some life into a Houston offense that had struggled to keep a drive alive up to that point.



It was otherwise a quiet fantasy day for the rest of the receiving corps. The tight ends saw nine targets, with six of them going to Jordan Akins. Pharoah Brown had a nice block to open up a running lane for Watson on a drive late in the game, and while it won’t get anyone any fantasy points it did help keep the drive moving.


Indianapolis Colts




Phillip Rivers: 22/28, 228 yards, 2 TD, 1 sack | 1 carries, -1 yards

Jacoby Brissett: 0/1, 1 carry, 2 yards


Starting LT Anthony Castonzo returned in this one and his presence was huge in keeping Rivers on his feet in this game. Rivers was only sacked once and had plenty of time to stand in the pocket and throw for the majority of this game. There were a few miscues, including an overthrow of a wide-open Trey Burton on 3rd and 6 that would have gone for 15+ yards easily right after the two-minute warning. The miscue forced a punt and led to 3 points for the Texans just before the half.

Otherwise, it was a solid but unspectacular fantasy day for Rivers. If you were forced to start him you got a solid floor without any mistakes. At this point in his career, Rivers just needs to limit mistakes in order to win football games and that’s exactly what he did. Jacoby Brissett came in and converted a QB sneak on 4th and 1, and he also attempted a pass where he overthrew T.Y. Hilton in the end zone.


Running Backs


Jonathan Taylor: 16 carries, 83 yards, TD | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 12 yards

Nyheim Hines: 5 carries, 43 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards


Jonathan Taylor was used early and often on the Colts’ first drive. He was targeted twice (one reception) and carried the rock three times on the team’s first seven plays. Following a 23 yard run by Nyheim Hines and a short reception by Jack Doyle, Taylor bounced off of multiple defenders to pound the ball into the end zone. It was a nice opening drive to start off the game for the Colts.



There was lots of Taylor on the opening drive of the 2nd half as well, with multiple chunk plays and broken tackles. He ran with power and speed on Sunday, looking like the stud the Colts thought they were getting in the draft. Meanwhile, Hines was a nice compliment to Taylor and flashed plenty on his own, including on the long run mentioned above. His fantasy stock has taken a significant hit in recent weeks as Taylor has broken out, but for real-life football purposes, this is a dynamic 1-2 duo for a Colts team that is looking to make a deep run in the playoffs.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


T.Y. Hilton: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 71 yards

Michael Pittman Jr.: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards

Zach Pascal: 6 targets, 5 reception, 79 yards, 2 TD

Trey Burton: 2 targets,1 reception, 8 yards

Mo Allie-Cox: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

Jack Doyle: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards


Zach Pascal was the story of the day for the Colts’ receiving corps. He converted two key third downs on the Colts’ first two drives, also scoring a TD on the second drive moments after a fantastic contested 26-yard catch.



His second TD came on a screen pass with under two minutes to go, and it ended up being the game-winner. He reached out over the goal line to score on what was a really nice play by the third-year receiver.



Besides the two third-down conversions and the two touchdowns, Pascal only had one other catch but for anyone who rolled the dice on him, they were rewarded with a fantastic low-cost performance.

T.Y. Hilton was mostly absent in this one, and he wasn’t targeted at all in the 1st quarter. He was targeted twice in the 2nd quarter and a few times in the 2nd half, but his biggest catch came late in the 4th quarter on a 41-yard bomb that got the Colts down to the three-yard line and set up the game-winning score. It helped salvage an otherwise quiet day, and 11.1 PPR points out of Hilton in a Flex spot could have been a lot worse.


— Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)

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