Jaelen Strong finally has his breakout game for Houston Texans


As fans of the Arizona State Sun Devils, we’ve become accustomed to Jaelen Strong making big catches. But until this week’s edition of Thursday Night Football, he had been largely underwhelming as a rookie member of the Houston Texans. From the negative attention he received with a lackluster postseason on Hard Knocks, to being kept inactive for the first four weeks of the season, the startling concept that there might be some validation in him falling to the third round became a very real entity.

On Thursday night, though, Strong got his first action of the year and delivered big time for the Texans. It ultimately didn’t matter as they found themselves in the loss column once again, but Jaelen Strong left a mark to the point where we could see him getting consistent action for Houston moving forward.

At the end of the first half, with Brian Hoyer under center due to an apparent injury to backup-turned-starter-turned-backup-turned-starter Ryan Mallett. Regardless of that situation (we don’t particularly care about the Texans, just Jaelen Strong), Hoyer heaved up a 42-yard prayer to the endzone at the end of the half, with Strong coming down with the catch to get the Texans on the board. It obviously wasn’t as impactful as the “Jael Mary”, which gave the Devils the win over USC barely a year ago, but it was an exclamation point on his first career catch.

Strong again found the endzone later in the game, catching an 11-yard score in which he was left wide open. He finished the night with that pair of catches for 53 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was only two catches on the night, as he was only targeted the two times, but they were the two most necessary catches of Strong’s football career.

Here’s hoping that those two catches can springboard Jaelen Strong to some sort of success here with the Texans. It’s not going to get any easier for him with Houston’s quarterback situation as awful as it currently is, but with that type of statement and impact being made, we should see more involvement for Strong moving forward. At least, that’s the obvious hope of Sun Devil Nation.

Randy Holt is the managing editor for Devils in Detail. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.