J.J. Watt: Texans using playoff loss to Chiefs as fuel for 2020 fire

The Houston Texans aren’t ignoring last season’s epic postseason collapse against the Kansas City Chiefs — they’re actually drawing inspiration from it.

When it comes to the NFL, sometimes coaches, players, and teams choose to hold onto their wins and their losses — and sometimes they choose to purposefully forget about them.

The rationale makes sense both ways, win or lose.

If you win, sometimes it’s a jolt of confidence and an important lesson that anything is possible — particularly if it’s a come-from-behind win or a win against a team many consider to be “better” on paper. In that instance, you’d want to hold onto the game long afterward as a teaching point.

If you win and you were supposed to win, it’s often important to actually let go of that game then and move on. Dwelling on a victory can also make a team complacent and inflate the egos of its constituents, which might be dangerous down the road if that same team overlooks an opponent.

If you lose and it’s a hard-fought effort nonetheless, coaches might want players to remember how they battled and clawed their way to a competitive effort, even long after the season’s over.

And then of course there are those instances where you lose and nothing goes right, and perhaps it’s just best to move forward and bury that game in the ground immediately, hoping your team forgets about their dismal performance and moves on.

The Houston Texans aren’t over their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

For the Houston Texans, it appears that no one is ready to move on or simply forget about their postseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last year — a game they had a 24-0 lead in (and on the road), before ultimately losing in a 51-31 blowout .

And, according to J.J. Watt, that’s a good thing.

“We have to learn from it, grow from it, and be able to handle what comes next after that,” Watt told reporters, per USA Today’s Mark Lane. “So, no, I don’t think that we’re necessarily ignoring it or moving on from it. We learn from it and then we grow and build off of it. That’s our goal, and I do think that learning from a situation like that does get us closer to where we want to be in terms of our goals of winning a championship.”

While the Texans offense did stall after an early 21-point outburst in the first quarter, it’s easy to make an argument that it was Houston’s defense that really lost them the game.

After all, the D allowed Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to score an NFL playoff record seven straight touchdowns plus a field goal over eight successive (and successful) drives.

For the Texans to take the next step in their development and their quest for a conference championship appearance — and hopefully a whole lot more — the defense is going to need to stiffen up significantly against all the potent offenses in the AFC this season and beyond.

“I think not learning from that (playoff loss) would be naïve of us,” said Watt. “I think that you have to understand what happened in that situation. You have to let that situation fuel you and let that fire build within you knowing how terrible that felt.”

Hopefully, the fire continues to burn strong and hot all season for the Houston Texans. They’ll have an early chance to get their revenge on the Chiefs in the 2020 season opener on Thursday, September 10.