The Houston Texans completed a noble comeback, coming back from 16 points and winning in overtime to earn their first playoff victory since the 2016 season.
And they certainly received some gift-wapped luck from the Buffalo Bills, who had every chance to win their first playoff game since 1995 but coughed it away.
After the Texans fell behind 16-0, Watson carried the Texans on his back in a brilliant third- and fourth-quarter comeback. He completed his eight final pass attempts in regulation for 111 yards, with a brilliant rushing TD, a two-point conversion and a TD pass that put Houston up, 19-16, with 4:37 remaining.
The touchdown run, with Watson dragging multiple Bills defenders into the end zone, was brilliant. It felt like the play of the night — but somehow Watson would outdo himself later.
That’s when mayhem ensued. It felt for a bit at the end of regulation like no team had enough to win.
But Watson took over when he had to, despite an offensive line that appeared intent on getting him smooshed, finishing 20-of-25 passes for 247 yards with 14 rushes for 55 yards. The stats don’t even begin to explain what he did to will Houston to only its second postseason victory since the 2012 season.
“All we needed was a little bit of a spark,” J.J. Watt told ESPN immediately after the game, “and you’re never out of a game when you have Deshaun Watson at quarterback.”
Watson struggled more than he ever has on a big stage in last year’s playoff loss to the Colts, which he said left a bad taste in his mouth for the entire offseason. This was the wash he and the Texans needed.
The capper was in overtime when Watson spun out of what would have been a disastrous sack — and it would have been his eighth sack taken in the game — to hit Taiwan Jones for a stunning 34-yard completion on the penultimate play of the game.
Under fire, Watson said he just wanted to stay up and give his team a chance.
“I just told myself to stay up,” Deshaun Watson said to Lisa Salters postgame. “It’s do or die right now and all that work I put in in the offseason, I just had to make play.
“Somebody had to be great, why not me?”
— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) January 5, 2020
Great? Legendary, perhaps. That play might have been the best so far in the 2019 season.
And the victory was one of Watson’s finest achievements with the franchise. The game-winning field goal on the next play capped a mad day in Houston.
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