After his second-ever start at New England, Deshaun Watson thought more about his two interceptions than the two touchdowns or 301 passing yards in last season's Week 3 game. The Texans 36-33 loss to the Patriots had come down to the final 23 seconds when Tom Brady threw the game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
"Really how we had the opportunity to put the game away and we didn't," Watson said. "Left too much time for Tom Brady. The interception I threw early on in the game. That was pretty much it. I was aiming for the win even though the stats seems like it was pretty cool, but at the same time I always want to win, regardless of the stat."
Nearly one year later, Watson has put the loss behind him. He has an uncanny ability to forget and not let the past dictate his future, whether it is play-to-play, game-to-game or even season-to-season. On Sunday, Houston's starting quarterback will get his long-awaited second chance when the Texans open their 2018 regular season at Gillette Stadium.
"I'm very excited for Deshaun," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "Obviously, when you look at last year, those are plays that we studied and we tried to look at those individually with him and say, 'Hey, look. Here's some things that you did well. Here's some things that you can get better at.' The reason why I'm excited for him is because of how he's approached the offseason. I don't think it's very easy to be injured in your rookie year. I don't think that's easy at all."
All offseason, Watson diligently rehabbed his way back from a season-ending ACL surgery that caused him to miss the final nine games of the season. Much like the interceptions, Watson has also put the knee injury behind him is looking forward to his return to the football field. On Sunday, he could lead the Texans to their first-ever franchise win at New England, but Watson has his work cut out for him.
"You have to capitalize on redzone points, score touchdowns rather than field goals and be able to play mistake-free as much as you can," Watson said.
In his second career start at New England in Week 3, Watson was 22-of-33 passing (66.7%) for 301 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 90.6 rating. He also ran for 41 yards on eight carries (5.1 avg.) Watson became the first rookie quarterback with 300-or-more passing yards and 40-or-more rushing yards in a game since Luck in 2012 and the first quarterback in Texans franchise history to do so.
Take a look at some of the best shots from Thursday's practice presented by Houston Methodist as the Texans prepare for the Patriots.