Less than a week from the NFL naming Texans Quarterback (QB) Deshaun Watson the AFC Player of the Week, he was met with an immense amount of defensive pressure from the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers efforts resulted in a 16 – 10 Week 4 loss for the Texans.
Texans Coach Bill O’Brien summarized the loss post-game, saying simply, “It was bad. We didn’t do a good job and we’ve got to do a better job.”
For a total of 160 yards, Watson completed 21 of 33 passes and scored the only Texans touchdown.
His thoughts concerning the offense were pretty succinct as well, “It was terrible. We’ve got to do better. I don’t know. I don’t really have any answers. I’ve got to go back and watch the film. I have to start that like right now. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”
Though they may have lost the battle on the field, Watson certainly won the war in the press room. Traditionally, reporters ask some pretty silly questions out of ritual following games, and athletes, rightfully so, give generic answers to satisfy the awkward air. After the Panthers loss, journalist Aaron Reiss of ‘The Athletic’ asked Watson, “[With] the coverage they were playing… is there anything you guys can do as an offense to manufacture more opportunities for you to try them downfield or was that kinda the only two or three opportunities you had in the game?”
At first Watson looked over his shoulder and chuckled softly and then asked Reiss, “…Do you know what kind of coverage they were playing?” When Reiss began to offer up a justification for the question, Watson assured him there was nothing behind his question by saying, “I’m just asking….I’m not trying to…”
Watson then went on to break down his perspective of the coverage in great detail, “It’s Cover-4. So, what the safeties are doing, they’re playing deep and they’re guarding No. 2. Corners sink and they trap two. So, what they’re doing is keeping everything in front. The linebackers are playing anything that crosses, (Luke) Kuechly is playing in the middle, he stops everything that crosses the middle. He jumps everything there and the safeties are charging on number two. So, if the safeties are playing low, we can’t take that. We have to hit double moves. We did the post because (Eric) Reid stepped up on two with the out, over the top, I didn’t hit it. Same thing with Hop, in-route, safety jumped up, he went vertical, I didn’t hit it. That’s the only two. After that, they played back, Cover-2, six, buzz, which is safety, Reid, comes in between Kuechly and the outside linebacker, he plays deep. I’ve got to get rid of the ball.” Thus, Reiss’s question was thoughtfully answered.
Safety Justin Reid who had the unique experience of facing his brother on the opposing team still maintained that the team will continue to improve. Reid expressed, “We still have some growing to do, but the talent on this team is unquestionable. We have a tremendous quarterback, tremendous players all over the field, so we’re just going to have to keep building, watch the tape and get better. The league is set up to be an 8-8 league. We don’t have an easy division and we’re still 2-2, so we’re just going to have to keep working toward getting that train rolling, get a win streak going and then just prepare to make that run.”
The Texans are now 2-2 on the season and will face the Atlanta Falcons at home on Sunday October 6, 2019.