Posted on October 14, 2018, by Travis Pulver
When the 2018 season started fans in Houston were looking forward to seeing the same exciting, high-flying offense they saw during Deshaun Watson’s injury-shortened rookie year. But so far this season, it is not looking like that offense is going to reemerge. It certainly didn’t against the Buffalo Bills Sunday afternoon.
Watson didn’t have his best game but thanks to the defense, the Texans were able to lock down their third win in a row.
After Houston tied the game up at 13-13 with 1:34 left to play, it looked like they were destined for a third consecutive overtime game. But defensive back Jonathan Joseph had a different ending in mind. He picked off a Nathan Peterman-pass intended for Kelvin Benjamin on the next drive. He also returned it 28-yards for the game-winning touchdown.
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“I kind of thought for a second to just get there and hold the ball so we can the run clock out,” Joseph said after the game. “But then I was like: `A chance like that (doesn’t) come by so often. I’ve got to score this.”
Peterman was in the game for an injured Josh Allen. His second interception, this one by Kareem Jackson, secured the win for the Texans.
“At the end of the game … he was probably trying to do too much,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said after the game. “I don’t want to paint it all bad, but we’ve got to protect the football and make sure we’re smart.”
It wasn’t a banner day for Houston’s young quarterback either. Watson was 15-25 for 177 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. He also fumbled once after getting sacked. But the lack of protection almost makes it easy to understand why he struggled.
He was questionable coming into the game with a chest injury. By the time the game was over, the Bills sacked him seven times and recorded another 12 QB hits.
“When you’ve got a guy that sacrifices everything when he’s hurt, everybody around him better do the same thing, especially if it’s your quarterback,” Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said after the game.
But at the rate Watson is getting hit, the Texans have to be a little concerned about Watson’s career longevity. Whether he’ll survive the season is already in question. Through six weeks, the Texans have given up 25 sacks (second-most in NFL). They have also allowed 65 QB hits (most in the league).
After the game, Watson had no interest in placing blame on his offensive line and protection in general:
“Right now I’m just trying to obviously recover, get myself healthy, ready to play and watch this film, learn from this film, correct those mistakes that I made today and what we made on offense,” Watson said.
Watson will have a few tough games to get through before he can get some extra time off to heal. The Texans bye week isn’t for another three weeks. They’ll face a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars team next week. Buffalo will head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts.