With a towel draped over his head, Deshaun Watson sat on the bench, emotional after the Houston Texans fell 26-20 to the Colts in a stunning turn of events late in the game.
"When you can get to a point where you're not -- as a player over my career, even in little league, you haven't lost this many games, it's tough to handle," Watson said. "You try to hold so much weight on your shoulders where it just becomes a breaking point. Like I always preach, my standard is trying to be legendary, and I'm working towards it. Even regardless. Like I said before, it's not only on Nick (Martin), I should have caught the ball. That's because I hold myself up to that legendary standard, so I should have made that catch on that snap. I just felt like I'm just disappointed for the whole city, I mean, honestly."
As the Texans were driving to score from the Colts' two-yard line, Watson couldn't catch a low, errant snap from center Nick Martin on what began as a normal zone-read play. After the fumble, Colts defenders jumped on the ball and recovered, ending the Texans' chances of a game-winning drive.
"We're going back and forth on if we were going to pass it or not," Watson said. "We didn't want to leave too much time for the Colts offense, so we're trying to at least run it and if we run it in, then we run it in, but if not the clock is going to continue to run. and the back was on my right. Yeah, I mean, I should have just caught the ball. i know, you know, a little lower and hot but, for me, I take pride in just catching every snap, regardless of where it is and how fast it is."
But despite the Texans' disappointing 4-8 season, Watson has been the team's bright spot. On Sunday, he became the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 13,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in their first 50 games. The two-time Pro Bowler has been a passing and scoring machine this year, throwing for over 300 yards in seven of his first 12 games this season and multiple touchdown passes in six consecutive games. Against the Colts, Watson threw for 214 yards before halftime, finishing with 341 yards passing, 38 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown.
But none of it matters in a loss. The Texans lost, snapping a two-game win streak in another close game. J.J. Watt, who finished with six tackles, one sack, one quarterback hit and four tackles for loss, says he won't let the blame fall on Watson or the offense's shoulders.
"I mean, it's very tough, very frustrating, obviously," J.J. Watt said. "But I mean, our offense has done a great job many times in bailing us out on defense. I'm not going to sit here and say anything about our offense. The situations have been flipped many times. So I know those guys feel bad about what happened. Obviously, wish they could have it back. I know how that feels. We wish we had that win, obviously."
Three of the Texans' losses have been by one score: at Pittsburgh (28-21), in overtime at Nashville (42-36), at Cleveland (10-7) and on Sunday against the Colts. Now the Texans must regroup with playoff hopes all but diminished for the first time with a healthy Watson under center.
While Watson is disappointed and still emotional in his press conference nearly an hour after the game ends, he gives himself just 24 hours to dwell on it. After that, he will be focused on preparing for the Chicago Bears and a future where he reaches that legendary status for Houston.
"And that's why I was sitting on the bench because we're so close, been so close these last four years," Watson said. "Since I've been here where we just can't for some reason, haven't gotten over that stepping stone, but one day we will for sure. I promise you that."
Watson and the Texans will travel to Chicago in Week 14. Kickoff is set for Sunday at noon CT on CBS, the Houston Texans mobile app and SportsRadio 610.
Check out some photos from the Houston Texans Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts on Battle Red Day presented by Mattress Firm.