Eight times, J.J. Watt has entered the arena to face the New England Patriots. Eight times, Watt left in defeat.
The Texans defensive end acknowledged Houston’s record against Tom Brady is “very frustrating,” noting that every competitor wants to win. In the first half of their 27-20 loss on Sunday, Watt and his teammates weren’t able to get much pressure on the Patriots quarterback. He wasn’t taking home any prizes even though they picked up two sacks after the break.
“There’s no such thing as a moral victory,” Watt said. “You don’t take anything from it, you going to watch the film, we’re going to learn. Obviously that’s a very good football team we played and I mean, this league’s all about finding a way to win and we just didn’t do it at the end of the day.”
With Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus joining Watt, Houston’s pass rush was expected to wreak some havoc on the Patriots offensive line. Brady kept himself upright by moving the ball before the rush arrived and working within his protection. Watt noted it’s “always a challenge” to get to Brady, adding that defenders have to avoid getting frustrated because it will affect their game.
“[Brady] gets the ball out of his hands very quickly,” Watt said. “They chip. I mean, they use Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] to chip, they use Dwayne [Allen] to chip, they use their backs to chips. You know, they’re going to have the guards slide out to help on the edges, they’re going to have double teams, they’re going to find ways to protect and then you got to find ways to win.”
The Texans have another opportunity to find their first win of the season next Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Watt is headed into that game with some lessons — handed down by Brady and Belichick — in hand.
“It’s always frustrating to lose, especially here, especially – you know, you hate to lose,” he said. “But you also have to remember this is game one and we can’t let it put us into some sort of rut that’s going to carry over. We have to put it behind us, learn from it and move on and go on and play game two.”