Fairbairn is signing a four-year contract to stay with the Texans, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. The 26-year-old kicker played all 16 games each of the past three seasons, converting 83.7 percent of field-goal attempts and 91.7 percent of extra-point tries, including 10 of 16 from 50-plus yards. Fairbairn's volume has been far less consistent than his accuracy -- 25 FGAs in 2017, a league-high 42 in 2018, and then 25 again in 2019. The average of 30.7 per season is a reasonable expectation for 2020, assuming the Houston offense remains solid with Deshaun Watson leading the charge.
Fairbairn converted one of two field-goal attempts and four of four extra-point kicks in Sunday's 51-31 loss to the Chiefs. In a game that became a shootout, one in which the Chiefs scored touchdowns on seven consecutive drives, sending Fairbairn out to attempt field goals was not part of the thought process in the second half. One year after leading the NFL in points, Fairbairn dropped back to 19th among kickers with 100 points. The 25-year-old placekicker enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
Fairbairn converted both of his field-goal attempts in the Texans' 22-19 overtime win over the Bills in their AFC wild-card playoff game. Fairbairn booted a 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter that sent Houston to the divisional round after an accurate 28-yarder in overtime. The 25-year-old placekicker has made all of his kicks over the last seven games, going 9-of-9 on field goals and 16-of-16 on extra points.
Fairbairn made both of his extra-point kicks in Sunday's 35-14 loss to Tennessee in Week 17. With nothing on the line for the Texans, head coach Bill O'Brien limited his skill position players, including quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who dressed but did not play. Running back Carlos Hyde (five snaps) and Darren Fells (two special teams snaps) were kept under wraps most of the day, while Kenny Stills (knee) and Will Fuller V (groin) were inactive. That resulted in an nonexplosive offense that limited Fairbairn's opportunities to put points on the board.
Fairbairn successfully converted all three field-goal attempts and two extra-point kicks in Saturday's 23-20 win over Tampa Bay in Week 16. In a throwback to 2018, the Texans' offense stalled three times in the Buccaneers' red zone and needed Fairbairn to bail things out. He did so from 32, 25 and 37 yards, the last one being the game-winning score that clinched the AFC South for the Texans. Fairbairn has 98 points, which is middle of the pack among kickers, entering the regular-season finale against the Titans next week.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/11||@Kansas City Chiefs||4||5.68|
|7||10/25||Green Bay Packers||21||7.39|
|11||11/22||New England Patriots||2||4.53|