It was one of the most entertaining football games in years. The Houston Texans wound up on the short end of the 41-38 game against the Seattle Seahawks, but this is an instant classic and one to be proud of for Texans fans, even in defeat.
Here are a few quick takeaways from the wild shootout in Seattle.
Deshaun Watson continues to impress
It started on the very first drive of the game. Watson found Will Fuller behind the defense with a TD bomb. The rookie QB kept wheeling and dealing throughout the rest of the game, too.
It wasn’t always pretty, or positive. Watson made several rookie mistakes, notably the pick-six to Earl Thomas on Houston’s second drive. He missed seeing the blitz a couple of times and was baited into another INT by Richard Sherman, too. But No. 4 continued to demonstrate he’s a catalyst and has the ability to do special things.
Kevin Johnson didn’t look ready
On the drive where the Seahawks knotted the score at 21, almost all the yards — and the touchdown pass — came with the Seahawks specifically targeting Johnson. In his first game back from a sprained MCL which kept him out a month, Johnson clearly didn’t have his speed back. Every time the Seahawks needed a completion and Wilson had time, it seems like he threw at Johnson.
The protest didn’t negatively impact Houston on the field
The much-ballyhooed kneeling during the national anthem could have been a major distraction for the Texans players, not to mention the coaches. To everyone’s credit, there were no ill effects from the demonstration against owner Bob McNair’s controversial comments. Both the offense and defense came out focused and ready to play.
Jadeveon Clowney was a monster
The stat sheet says No. 90 had just four tackles and one sack. Those figures don’t even come close to demonstrating Clowney’s impact on the game. He was the focal point of Seattle’s blocking scheme all day long and still proved highly disruptive. The Seahawks repeatedly held him and did get penalized for a chop block, though much of their illegal hindering went unflagged. Despite the lack of gaudy stats, Clowney played a fantastic game.
Houston’s run defense was suffocating
The Seahawks managed just 2 yards rushing through the first three quarters. They finished with 33, but 21 of those came on one Russell Wilson scramble on a broken play. Clowney, D.J. Reader and the defensive front consistently smothered runs before they got started, and Benardrick McKinney cleaned up anything that might have leaked through.
DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller are a great 1-2 punch at WR
Hopkins caught eight passes for 224 yards and one TDs. Fuller hauled in five for 125 and two TDs. The Texans wideouts proved lethal even against the heralded Legion of Boom defense in Seattle. The balance Fuller brings to the passing attack gives Watson advantages most rookie QBs don’t get.
Bill O’Brien blew the end of game
When Deshaun Watson pushed the Texans ahead, O’Brien immediately changed from aggressive to playing not to lose. His playcalling on the penultimate offensive drive was too conservative, taking the air out of the ball and becoming predictable. When his obviously gassed defense could barely get lined up, it was obvious to everyone the Texans needed a timeout. Everyone except O’Brien. It cost his team dearly in this one.
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