After falling behind in the first half, the Houston Texans were able to rally from down 17-7 to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-20.
This first play took place with roughly six minutes to go in the third quarter for the Houston Texans. The defense brings just a four-man pressure, but they get to Philip Rivers before he has a chance to find the open man. Rivers continued to go through his progressions, but he never had an opportunity to get his feet planted and make a play
For the Texans, watch JJ Watt on the right side of the line go right by his man and D.J. Reader come through the double team in the middle to split the sack. Both men looked unstoppable on the play. This play demonstrated how Romeo Crennel used different looks throughout the second half to overwhelm Rivers and disrupt him from getting into a rhythm.
This second play was a great hustle play for the defense. Watch the left side of the line as Whitney Mercilus is knocked off of his feet as soon as the play starts. Mercilus proceeds to get back into the play as he chases Rivers down and records a strip-sack with a late assist from JJ Watt.
This huge play would end up swinging things in favor of Houston. Down 17-14, the Texans would march downfield on the ensuing drive, and Watson would find Jordan Akins for his first career touchdown and their first lead of the afternoon.
Finally, some offense. But not for a good reason. The Chargers get a lot of pressure on Deshaun Watson who scrambles backward and looks like he’s going to escape the pressure like he usually does and make a play with his feet.
But the pressure keeps coming, and Watson decides to fling the ball downfield in what is a case of terrible decision making. It’s not something you often see from Watson, but he panicked and just chucked the ball down the field and into an area with four white jerseys.
Luckily for Houston, off-setting penalties wiped out the play. An interception there would have been devastating for a Texans team who had fought their way back into the game. Watson may have gotten away with heaving the ball at the college level, but one inaccurate throw can change the momentum of the game in the NFL.
And we’ll wrap things up on a good note. Deshaun Watson was working his magic. On a play that looked like a sure sack, the quarterback slips right out of the would-be tackle, tosses the ball about fifteen yards downfield, and Jordan Akins takes it the rest of the fifty-three yards into the end zone.
It’s the kind of play that makes Watson so unique. He’s able to use his feet to avoid the pressure and still keep his eyes up to find an open teammate. A teammate who wouldn’t have even been open if it weren’t for Watson using his feet and drawing both the linebackers with just the threat of a scramble. The play would be the ultimate difference-maker as the Texans won by that last touchdown.
There’s always good and bad in any team’s performance, but a huge second half and some great plays on both sides of the ball were able to lead the Texans to a double-digit come back and move the team to 2-1 on the season.