"It was worth all the shi**y tough days" said Watt after the game

Watt's return helps spark Texans in comeback, OT win

Watt's return helps spark Texans in comeback, OT win
Getty Images

Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt

He's back! J.J. Watt made his return to the field in their playoff game against the Bills. This is how he fared gainst Buffalo.

Getting adjusted during the return

Watt was used as a situational defensive lineman throughout the game. The team would sub him in on clear passing downs, though he was in during some Bills rushing plays as well. As you can see from the play above, Watt had a welcome back moment or two from the Bills offensive line.

The first half was fairly quiet for Watt. He drew an occasional double team but he didn't show up with an actual stat on the stat sheet.

Momentum changer

The Texans had just fumbled. The offense looked dead. The Bills had a chance to make it a near insurmountable lead. Watt flashed on third down for his first recorded statistic of the day to force the Bills to take a field goal.

It was a vintage Watt sack. He was too fast for the lineman and rumbled past him to crush Allen. The Bills signal caller would be antsy in the pocket for a couple of series after this.

Bill O'Brien said after the game Watt's sack got the crowd back into the game. He also said Houston fans are great because they are "going to let you know when you're not playing well, and they're going to let you know when you are playing well."

Little bro is pumped

J.J. Watt's brother T.J. Watt was in attendance. The younger Watt is a defensive player of the year candidate.

Got in a groove

Watt would get into a groove later in the game forcing Allen to toss the ball away. He drew closer to his regular level of attention from the Bills offense as the second half went on.

Watt did it for his teammates

Watt made it clear after the game he came back to play with his teammates and he missed that feeling.

"We threw the plan out the window there in the fourth quarter and overtime," Watt said. He thanked the training and rehab staff for having him ready. He said he dove for a tackle and knew that moment he would know if his torn pectoral was going to remain healthy in the game.

Watt joked after the game he and the doctor hugged and neither knows how he held up for the game.

"The plan"

Watt said the plan was for him to be situational for pass rushing but they plan was done when the fourth quarter got there. He said he didn't rehab to be on the sidelines in crunch time. Watt did say sometimes it was tough to stay on the sidelines through the first three quarters but he stuck to the plan.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Who holds the power in Houston? Composite Getty Image.

It should come as no surprise that after a slow start to the season, fans and media are starting to voice concerns about the organization's leadership and direction. The latest evidence of this involved Astros adviser Reggie Jackson and the comments he made on Jon Heyman's podcast, The Show.

Jackson discussed the Astros reported interest in starting pitcher Blake Snell. He said that ultimately, Snell was looking for a deal the Astros weren't comfortable with in terms of money and structure of the contract.

Which is interesting considering the Astros were okay with paying 5-years, $95 million for closer Josh Hader, but not willing to pay Snell 2-years, $62 million. We believe the opt-outs in Snell's contract were a dealbreaker for Houston. And of course the money played a role.

However, the Astros passing on Snell is not the intriguing part of the story. It was Jackson talking about the club's power structure in the front office and how they go about making decisions.

“Being fiscally responsible is what kicked us out of the Snell deal… That's too much for him… Between the 4 or 5 people who make decisions with the Astros, we don't play that game,” said Jackson.

Based on Jackson's comments in the interview, the decision makers are Jim Crane, Dana Brown, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Reggie. But not necessarily in that order. He also mentioned that they had conversations with manager Joe Espada and his staff, plus some input from the analytics department.

These comments add to the concerns we've had about the front office since Crane moved on from GM James Click and operated without a general manager for several months. Which led to the disastrous signing of Jose Abreu and to a lesser extent Rafael Montero.

Which begs the question, are the Astros in a better spot now with their front office? Many blame Dana Brown for the state of the starting rotation. While there were some red flags this spring, anticipating injuries to Jose Urquidy, Justin Verlander, and Framber Valdez is asking a lot.

But only bringing in Hader to replace all the innings left behind by Hector Neris, Phil Maton, Kendall Graveman, and Ryne Stanek always felt risky.

Finally, what can the Astros due in the short-term to weather the storm while Framber and JV rehab from injury?

And is Hunter Brown the biggest liability in the rotation?

Be sure to watch the video above for the full in-depth discussion.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome