CODY STOOTS

Texans player of the game: J.J. Watt

J.J. Watt was a force. Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

For the first time in over two years J.J. Watt sacked a quarterback and for the first time in even longer, he looked like himself. Watt was again a force for offenses to worry about despite his team failing yet again to win the game. He would find the Giants passer two more times on his way to a huge day despite another bad loss for the team.

“Personal stats don’t matter at all in a loss,” Watt said. He might be right, but he almost singlehandedly made them matter. 

The play was actually a strip of Eli Manning as Watt darted past the Giants offensive line almost before the snap swatting the right arm of Manning causing the ball to squirt out before New York recovered it. Earlier on the same set of downs, Watt split defenders to smash rookie sensation Saquon Barkley for a rare loss for the Giants rushing attack. Watt would add two other hurries and a tackle to those previous flashes of greatness for a stellar first half. 

Watt picked up where he left off in the third Giants drive of the third quarter. The Giants right tackle struggled to contain Watt as he dispatched the blocking scheme and wrapped up Manning for a 10-yard loss. The Giants would punt one play later. 

Vintage Watt showed up on the next drive on third down. After teammate Angelo Blackson set the Giants back with a sack of his own on first down, two plays later Watt swam past the blocking and wrapped up Manning who saw 99 coming and retreated in a hurry. 

Watt looked to tire during some of the action missing a play here or there but he often drew the most attention or any of the Texans rushers. The Texans defense allowed their first touchdown of the second half to the Giants. He finished with eight tackles, three sacks, three tackles for a loss, and four hits on the quarterback. 

Despite the effort from Watt, the Texans are off to their worst start since 2008 when they began 0-4 before finishing the season 8-8. 

“You don’t expect anyone outside the building to believe in you,” he said. “Rightfully so...All of us need to look in the mirror, analyze ourselves, and figure out what we can do better every single day to find a game to win games."

It is a great sign for the Texans to see Watt look like his old self. The few plays he sat out were expected due to the intensity he had to play with to keep the Giants from putting the Texans away, although it seemed like the Giants were able to wear him down and finally get him blocked late. Any help from the other pass rushers and Watt will shine even brighter. The Colts are next up with hope quickly slipping away for the Texans. 

 

Could next season be the one for Watson? A few have done it before in year four

Watson could join elite company with Super Bowl run in fourth season

Deshaun Watson was magical in the win. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Countdown to "Mahomes Magic" vying for Lombardi's Prize is rapidly approaching. His arrival and amazing ascension to becoming the "face" of the NFL has been meteoric in nature. So the obvious question for us in Houston, is "how" can Deshaun Watson next year land on center stage representing the AFC at next year's Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa? For Deshaun, he'll be entering his fourth NFL season. Have no fear Texans fans, there have been a handful of quarterbacks who have won an NFL Title in their fourth campaigns.

January 12th, 1969 - Joe Namath

​Joe Namath in his 4th season, was an 18 point underdog, led the Jets to one of the games biggest upsets, beating the heavily favored Colts by a score of 16-7. What made this even more remarkable, was that the Colts in the previous round had defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 34-0. Namath was not "amazing" that day, completing 17 of 28 passes for a mere 206 yards, but it was "enough" to claim MVP honors at the Miami Orange Bowl. The Jets failed to defend their title the following year, eventually losing to Hank Stram's Cheifs in Super Bowl IV. (The last time Kansas City appeared in a Super Bowl contest)

January 26th, 1986 - Jim McMahon

​Jim McMahon "The Punky QB" aided with Buddy Ryan's famed 46 Defense, and a the league's #1 rushing attack, trounced the New England Patroits in his 4th NFL Season by a score of 46-10. A late hit by Charles Martin during the 86' Regular Season resulted in a separated shoulder, placing Mad Mac on the shelf, and essentially ending the Bears quest for a repeat.

February 3rd, 2008 - Eli Manning

Similar to Namath and the Jets upset in 69', this game is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in NFL History. New England was installed as a -12 point favorite on this day and were chasing perfection, having completed a perfect regular season, and post season. Eli Manning in his fourth year pulled off the miracle, as the Giants were merely a wildcard entry into the playoffs. Prior to this upset, a NFC Wildcard had never captured a Super Bowl Title. Eli threw for 255 yards, and a pair of touchdowns, the most memorable coming in the final moments when David Tyree made the remarkable "helmet catch" in a 17-14 upset victory.

So Houston, fear not !!! A QB can take a franchise to Super Bowl Glory in his 4th season!!!! Or in the case of Patrick Mahomes, possibly as early as a third!

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