FOXBOROUGH — Texans defensive end J.J. Watt admits he didn’t play well the first time his team faced the Patriots this season, a 42-14 loss on Dec. 10 during a “Monday Night Football” broadcast. He wasn’t in much of a mood on Wednesday to revisit the details.
“I mean, we know how to win football games. Obviously we didn’t play good last time up there, I think we can all agree on that. I don’t think we need to keep rehashing it,” Watt said Wednesday in a conference call with New England media. “I think we just need to play our style of football. We’re the Houston Texans, we’ll do what we do, and we’re going to go up there and give it everything we’ve got. We’re really excited about the challenge.”
Watt had four tackles in the first game against the Patriots, but none for losses. He hit quarterback Tom Brady three times, but had no sacks, nor was he able to knock down any of Brady’s passes at the line of scrimmage, a play he’s perfected. He did force a fumble.
The loss to the Patriots began a negative spiral for the Texans. They arrived in Foxborough at 11-1, which was tied for the best record in the NFL at the time. They lost three of their last four games, including the lopsided defeat to the Patriots, a spin that cost them a first-round playoff bye.
“Obviously we had a rough stretch that last month of the regular season, there’s no two ways to put it. We have no excuses, we have nothing to say about it,” Watt said. “It’s the playoffs now, and that’s all that matters. We’re focused on winning this game.”
Watt and his teammates now have the chance for payback. He’s already looking forward to it.
“Of course, nobody likes playing like that on national television in front of the whole country. You don’t like to put on a showing like we put on last time, and we’re really excited about another opportunity to go up there, very tough place to play, obviously a great football team,” Watt said. “If you want to win a Super Bowl in this league, you have to go through some very, very good football teams, and the Patriots are a very, very good football team.”