The reset button’s been pushed.
The proverbial slate is wiped clean.
Everyone has the same record again.
Whichever cliché you’d like to use, feel free to apply it now.
“It's a new season,” quarterback Deshaun Watson said after Sunday’s win over Jacksonville. “Everything is on the line, regardless of the record, situation, where you're playing. It's do or die now.”
The Texans are ready for the playoffs, and they like who’s under center in their wild card matchup with the Colts this Saturday at NRG Stadium.
Watson did well in his college postseason appearances, as he played in a pair of national title games for Clemson. He and the Tigers gave Alabama all it could handle in a 45-40 defeat in early January of 2016, before getting over the hump and beating the Tide a year later, 35-31. In those two games, Watson threw for a combined 825 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. He ran for another score.
Saturday will be the second-year signal-caller’s first go-round in the postseason. But based off how Watson’s performed this year, and specifically in nationally televised games, head coach Bill O’Brien is confident in his quarterback.
“He’s excited,” O’Brien said in a Monday press conference at NRG Stadium. “It is the highest level. It is a new season. The playoffs in the NFL are a totally different ball game than the regular season, there’s no doubt about that.”
Earlier this year, the Texans played the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Week 5, the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football in Week 8, the Titans on Monday Night Football in Week 12 and the Jets in a Saturday afternoon matchup in Week 15. They were victorious in all four contests, and Watson was superb, completing 90-of-116 (77.6 percent) of his passes for 1,118 yards, with 10 touchdowns and just one interception.
“He’s played well for us on big stages,” O’Brien said. “He’s played well on Monday night, Thursday night, Sunday night. He loves it. He wants that. For him personally, I don’t want to speak for him because I’m sure you’ll ask him, but it just seems to me he has a lot of fun on those nights, on those days. He’s done that really his whole career. He did that on big stages at Clemson. I know he’s looking forward to the game on Saturday.”
In the two games he played against Indianapolis this year, Watson completed 70 percent of his passes for 642 yards, with three scores and one interception. He also ran for a touchdown. The Colts sacked him a combined 12 times in those two games, which each road team won. Watson is ready to start the process of preparation, and eager to get back on the field to start up the second season.
“The tournament is wide open,” Watson said. “It's my first playoff, so I'm just excited to kind of get in and see how things go.”
Kickoff is at 3:30, and the game will be televised on ABC-13/KTRK and ESPN.
Check out the best photos from the Week 17 match-up with the Texans and Jaguars.