HOUSTON — Rookie Drew Lock threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns, and Kareem Jackson had an interception and returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown against his former team as the Broncos built a huge first-half lead and coasted 38-24 over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Lock, who made his NFL debut in a win over the Chargers last week, threw for 235 yards with three touchdowns in the first half.
“He had a hell of a game,” coach Vic Fangio said.
It was the most yards passing in a first half by the Broncos since Peyton Manning had 282 in Week 5 of 2014.
The Broncos (5-8) scored on their first five possessions to build 38-3 lead early in the third quarter. They scored more than 24 points for the first time since Oct. 19, 2018.
“We were ready to rock and roll from the get-go,” Lock said. “We were excited and we played all right.”
Houston’s hold on the AFC South took a hit as the Texans (8-5) came out flat in a terrible first half a week after downing the Patriots 28-22 for their first win in the series since 2010.
The Broncos pushed the lead to 21-0 in the second quarter when Lock connected with Jeff Heuerman on an 8-yard pass. Lock had completions of 37 and 25 yards on that drive.
The Texans went on fourth-and-1 from their 34 with two minutes left in the first half and Watson’s pass was tipped at the line and fell incomplete to give the Broncos a short field.
They took at advantage when Royce Freeman caught a 3-yard touchdown pass to make it 31-3 at halftime. Houston’s Lonnie Johnson had two defensive holding penalties on that drive.
Phillip Lindsay pushed the Broncos’ lead to 38-3 with a 1-yard run early in the third quarter.
DeAndre Hopkins gave the Texans their first touchdown on a 43-yard reception on their first drive of the second half.
Tashaun Gipson intercepted Lock near the goal line on the Broncos’ next drive and returned it 26 yards.
The Texans made it 38-17 early in the fourth quarter when Watson leaped into the end zone at the end of a 6-yard scramble.
Houston got a stop and Watson converted a fourth-and-19 with a pass to Hopkins on the next drive before his pass on fourth-and-3 was tipped three times and intercepted by Jackson to end any hope of a comeback.
Watson added another touchdown run with 32 seconds left.Deshaun Watson threw for 292 yards with one touchdown pass and two interceptions after throwing three touchdown passes and grabbing his first career touchdown reception in a stellar performance against New England.
The Broncos took an early lead when Lock threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Noah Fant with about 7 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter.
Fant, who finished with 113 yards receiving, had a 48-yard reception earlier in that drive.
Keke Coutee, inactive for the past two games despite being healthy, grabbed an 8-yard reception on Houston’s next drive but fumbled.
Jeremiah Attaochu picked up the ball and handed it off to Jackson, who dashed 70 yards for the score against the team he spent the last nine seasons with.