HOUSTON -- In Deshaun Watson's first two NFL seasons, he and wide receiver Will Fuller were a touchdown machine, combining for 11 TDs in 11 games. But through four games this season, the pair had not connected for a score.
That changed on Sunday in the Houston Texans' 53-32 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, when Fuller caught 14 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns, eclipsing the 183 receiving yards he had in the first quarter of the season. Fuller now has 14 touchdown catches in the 16 games he has played with Watson.
"I really can't explain it," Fuller said. "Just coming back from my ACL, I just wanted to be out there with my guys, and help them win and I've seen some stats out there where me and Deshaun when we play together, I score every game, and then this year, we're starting off slow. So I was just trying to get back in the groove of things and help my team win."
Fuller tore his right ACL in Week 8 of the 2018 season but returned for training camp and has played in every game this season. He said he still "gets stiff here and there," so he's still going in for treatment and taking care of his knee.
"Definitely, health played a big part [in the game]," Fuller said. "I'm starting to feel more and more like myself, like you said. But just staying on top of it because, you know, it's a serious injury, so I don't want it to get stiff."
Fuller's 14 catches are a career high and franchise record. His eight first-half receptions are tied for the second most by a Texans player in the first half of a game in franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Andre Johnson had 10 catches before halftime against the Seahawks in 2009.
Fuller also tied the Texans' franchise record with three receiving touchdowns. DeAndre Hopkins had three in Week 5 of the 2017 season against the Chiefs, and Johnson had three in Week 9 of the 2013 season against the Colts.
"Will put in the work ... in the offseason, coming off of injuries," Hopkins said. "For a guy like that to come out and have that kind of game, I'm a proud big brother."
Watson completed 28 of 33 passes for 426 yards and five touchdowns. He now has at least four touchdown passes in a game for the fifth time in his career, which is tied for the second-most games in the NFL since 2017, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Hopkins, who did not have more than 70 receiving yards in a game since the season opener, caught seven passes for 88 yards. Houston was without wide receiver Kenny Stills, who left the Texans' Week 4 loss to the Panthers with a hamstring injury.
Fuller credited the attention that Hopkins gets from opponents as one of the reasons he was able to take advantage of the Atlanta defense.
"Playing with Hop, like I always say, is easy," Fuller said. "He gets a lot of coverages thrown his way, and I feel like that's why they brought me here, to help him out.
"It took me awhile, but I finally had this big game, so I'm just trying to help my dog out."