Texans tight ends exploit Lions defense

Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Lions middle linebacker Tahir Whitehead, left, breaks up a pass intended for Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz during the first half on Sunday in Houston.

Houston – The Detroit Lions’ troubles covering tight ends has been well-documented and the Houston Texans came into the game looking to exploit that matchup.

“It was the game plan, but I thought Brock (Osweiler) did a nice job of delivering the ball to those guys and those guys did a nice job of getting open,” coach Bill O’Brien said.

The Texans completed 10 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets to their three tight ends in the first half, opening up a 14-3 lead at the break in route to a 20-13 victory.

On Houston’s first scoring drive, tight end Ryan Griffin beat rookie safety Miles Killebrew with a double move on 3rd-and-8 for a 23-yard gain. Griffin converted a second third down during the series, taking a short dump off and dragging defensive back Rafeal Bush beyond the marker.

Fellow tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz capped the drive with a six-yard touchdown catch, aggressively blasting through press coverage by linebacker Josh Bynes, creating more than enough separation before the throw.

The Texans’ tight ends didn’t have a completion second half, but Osweiler threw just eight passes.

Entering the game, the Lions had allowed 40 receptions for 423 yards to opposing tight ends, ranking in the bottom five. The seven touchdowns the team has surrendered to the position was last in the NFL.