Demaryius Thomas makes debut with Texans against former team in Denver

DENVER, Colorado (KTRK) -- The Houston Texans sealed a sixth straight win in a close game in Denver, but that was nearly thwarted in the waning seconds of the pivotal road matchup.

New Texans wide receiver Demaryius Thomas made his debut with the team fittingly against the club that he spent the first eight years with in the Mile High City.

"The goal is to try and get it and it ain't easy at all," Thomas told Eyewitness News. "The main things is sticking together, staying healthy and, you know, it's going to be a fight every week."

Thomas came out swinging in his first drive with Houston, grabbing two catches for 49 yards, which accounted for the majority of the Texans' 75-yard drive for an early 7-0 lead.

Tight end Jordan Thomas scored on a seven-yard catch from Deshaun Watson.

Demaryius Thomas ultimately hauled in three catches for 61 yards in his Houston debut.

After trading three-and-outs, the Broncos got on the scoreboard with a 44-yard field goal by Brandon McManus in the first quarter to make it 7-3.

In the ensuing drive, the Texans marched into Broncos territory, faced with a fourth down in field goal range. The offense was stopped on fourth and short on a run play, turning it over on downs in the second quarter.

The Texans defense, though, got Denver back with a fumble recovered by Justin Reid on the next drive deep in Denver territory. The short field resulted in a red zone touchdown pass from Watson to Deandre Hopkins, making it 13-3.

After failed drives for both sides, Denver's offense was able to break through the Houston defense, marching 87 yards to a Devontae Booker rushing touchdown from 14 yards out. Houston still had the lead, 13-10, with under six minutes in the first half.

Houston's next drive failed to produce points. It memorably ended when Watson nearly scrambled into center Nick Martin on third down near the Texans' 40-yard line. The Texans punted away to the Broncos after the two-minute warning.

Pinned at their own five-yard line, the Broncos used the two-minute drive to march into field goal range, buoyed by a questionable 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty charged to Tyrann Mathieu. McManus, though, kicked wide right on a 62-yard field goal attempt.

Houston got the ball back with under 20 seconds left around midfield and two timeouts left. After two completions to the Denver 35-yard line, Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked a 46-yard field goal to extend the lead, 16-10, heading into halftime.

Out of the break, Denver and Houston each stalled on their first drives of the second half. Denver then got the ball back and marched 81 yards on a nearly six-minute drive, capped off by a 12-yard toss from Case Keenum to Jeff Heuerman to give the Broncos a 17-16 lead.

Houston marched the ball for another long drive to begin the fourth quarter. The Texans got deep in Denver territory before stalling on the Broncos 19-yard line. Fairbairn squeezed the right upright on a successful field goal, giving the Texans the lead, 19-17.

On the ensuing Denver drive, the Texans defense came up big with a drive-stifiling sack of Keenum by Jadaeveon Clowney.

Later in the quarter, the Texans, still with the lead, were pinned close to their own end zone with the chance to run down the clock. After a penalty, Watson under pressure passed a short toss to Lamar Miller, who scampered from the goal line to the the 20-yard line for the drive-saving first down. The drive, though, ended without a score and a punt to Denver with under four minutes to go.

From their own 14-yard line, the Broncos offense converted third and fourth downs as it marched into the Texans' D. On another fourth down, Keenum converted a pass over the middle to Emmanuel Sanders, who put the Broncos in field goal territory. McManus from 51 yards out miffed another field goal as time wound down, and Houston survived, 19-17.

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Deandre Hopkins turned in another 100-yard receiving game on 12 targets.

Demaryius Thomas, who was traded to the Texans during the week, intends to fill the void while Will Fuller is out due to a torn ACL.

Texans improve to 6-3 and remain in first place in the AFC South. Houston enters its bye week before heading off to Washington for a Nov. 18 clash against the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins.

The Texans also improved to 4-3 in games this season decided by one possession. They dropped the first three games of the 2018 season by seven, three, and five points, respectively.

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