After failing seven times, the Houston Texans finally beat a team that isn’t the Jacksonville Jaguars. Today, in a season spoiled and ruined by Bill O’Brien, the Houston Texans covered New England’s open-mouthed playoff hopes with a pillow case.
Deshaun Watson was the main reason for this result. He carried Houston’s entire offense and accounted for nearly the entirety of it. He threw darts to Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, and Jordan Akins. He broke out of the pocket and made plays on the run. He even dumptrucked through two defenders at the goal line to give Houston an early score. Watson ended the day with 344 passing yards, 36 rushing yards, and 3 total touchdowns.
The game still came down to the wire. The Patriots had three timeouts and were down a touchdown. They used screens and quick passes to waltz into the red zone. Then it fell apart. Houston’s double safety edge blitzes and passes defensed at the line of scrimmage turned Cam Newton’s pocket into a wasp’s nest and prevented him from getting New England into the end zone. A 4th down failure created by a Lonnie Johnson Jr. blitz effectively ended this game.
Houston winning was cool and all. Always and forever, screw the New England Patriots. But in a lost season, without their first two draft picks next year, where win-loss ramifications no longer exist, there were pretty things that happened for the Texans this week, things we’ve been beckoning for, that are more important than the score itself. Lonnie Johnson Jr. provided great edge blitzes, Justin Reid used Rivers McCown as motivation and played his best game of the 2020 NFL season, Keke Coutee broke out of the doghouse and caught a touchdown pass (canI get a hell yeah?), Roderick Johnson continues to prove he’s a perfect swing tackle, Jonathan Greenard picked up his first career sack with a nice long arm against Isaiah Wynn, and Houston’s run defense wasn’t a complete abomination. Sure, the deep pass defense struggled, and there were the same run game problems, but nobody and nothing is perfect.
The Texans are now 3-7. They head to Detroit this Thursday on Thanksgiving to play the 4-6 Lions.