The Houston Texans first post-season win with Deshaun Watson at QB came Saturday in NRG Stadium.
After an abysmal first half in which Buffalo allowed 0 points, the Texans rallied to beat the Bills in OT. Collectively, the Texans were down several starters due to injury headed into wildcard weekend. To compensate, their elite players would have to elevate their game to get past a stout Bills defense and powerful rushing attack. The star power of the Texans however was not their greatest strength in this rally, it was the will of Deshaun Watson.
Houston wasn’t able to get in the end zone until the second half, but the Texans were able to find life in Watson’s rushing ability. After a few key scrambles in must-convert situations, the Texans found a way to win with very little offensive contribution aside from the quarterback. Watson has begun to rival Seattle’s star QB Russell Wilson in his escape ability on the run as well as evading would-be tacklers in the pocket. Aside from Deshaun, the Texans had a very average game with minimal defensive support and strong special teams.
Pass rusher J.J. Watt returned to the field for the first time in eight games after a pectoral surgery and remained quiet statistically. Aside from the one sack he earned in the first half, his impact remained more emotionally and as a leader of the Texans’ Clowney-less, heavily injured defense. Deandre Hopkins was able to haul in six catches for 90 yards, which was a strong performance against the Bulls’ all-pro cornerback in Tre’davious White.
Moving forward, it’s unlikely we’ll see the Texans get past the Chiefs. Kansas City will be a tough task for their defense that looks worn out, and it’ll take really strong QB play from Watson complemented by a complete 3 phase game for them to have a chance against the former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. Regardless, Watson has proved to overcome to doubt for years in pivotal games, and perhaps this weekend he’ll subvert doubt again.