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Texans WR Nico Collins playing exceptionally against man coverage

Houston Texans third-year wide receiver Nico Collins is having a breakout season this year. Despite missing two games, Collins has 1,102 receiving yards on 71 catches with seven touchdowns to lead the team.

Part of that can be attributed to his quarterback. Collins played with Davis Mills, Kyle Allen, Jeff Driskel and Tyrod Taylor in his first two seasons. Now he’s playing with likely NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud.

But credit is also due to Collins, who is playing his best ball when covered one-on-one. His 91.7 receiving grade against man coverage ranks second among all offensive players this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Collins is a big reason, too, why the Texans offense has thrived in the first year with offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik calling plays. Stroud has been phenomenal, but Collins separated himself from a solid receiver room because of his ability to break off big plays and catch contested passes.

He and rookie wideout Tank Dell were explosive all season long before Dell suffered a season-ending injury. So while backups like Noah Brown and Robert Woods have stepped up in Dell’s place, Collins has remained the consistent starter despite two absences this season. He’s averaged 5.1 receptions, 15.52 yards per reception and 78.7 yards per game. Collins’ receptions yards per reception and yards per game rank ninth and 12th, respectively, among all receivers with at least 75 targets this season.

With one game to go, Collins has another chance to add to his impressive third season before he potentially heads to his first postseason in the NFL.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire