With their 29-22 victory over the New York Jets on Saturday night, the Texans reached ten wins for the first time under head coach Bill O’Brien.
“It’s great,” O’Brien said. “I think 10 wins is hard to do in this league. I give our players and our coaching staff a ton of credit. Our players have worked very hard to get to this point in the season. There’s a long way to go, there really is. We haven’t really clinched anything but I give our coaching staff a lot of credit.”
After overcoming a tumultuous 0-3 start to the 2018 season, the Texans won nine consecutive games, including five in a row on the road at Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Denver, Washington and New York. According to J.J. Watt, the goal has been the same from the start of the season until now: to just win one game.
“It’s resiliency,” Watt said. “We have a ton of talent, obviously, but we also have a lot of guys that believe in each other, we believe in what we can do and what everybody around us can do. Like I’ve said all year long, we have no clue who’s going to make the play, how the play’s going to be made, when it’s going to be made, we just know that we’re going to find a way. Tonight, we did. Obviously, Hop (DeAndre Hopkins) and D4 (Deshaun Watson) on the last drive, I mean, incredible job. Defense stepping up at the end. It wasn’t pretty, but we got it done.”
After taking a 16-3 lead in the first half, the Texans found themselves trailing 22-19 with five minutes remaining in the game. Quarterback Sam Darnold threw two touchdown passes and orchestrated a third touchdown drive that resulted in a two-yard run. The Texans defense clamped down and did not allow a first down after that score. Watt finished the game with six total tackles (four solo), 2.0 sacks, two quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
With five minutes remaining, Deshaun Watson led the Texans offense on a seven-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 14-yard DeAndre Hopkins touchdown catch. Watson was 4-of-5 for 56 yards leading up to the score. Watson finished the game 22-of-28 for 294 yards, two touchdowns and a 134.2 rating. Hopkins caught 10 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
“We’ve been in those situations before, so we know how to handle it,” Hopkins said. “Not get too down and not get too up. We just play our game. The guys in our locker room know that we can win. We’ve been down before and no one has panicked. Being down by three or four points, we brush that off. We just want to go score.”
Houston, now at 10-4 and atop the AFC South, still need both the Colts and the Titans to lose on Sunday in order to secure a division title. The Texans have won a division title in two of O'Brien's previous four seasons.
The Texans are prepped and ready to take on the New York Jets.