|As it turns out, J.J. Watt did spit on Patriots logo in pregame||01.13.13 at 10:27 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Before Sunday’s Patriots-Texans divisional-round matchup, Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt was spotted spitting on the Gillette Stadium center logo and wiping his feet off on the Flying Elvis before sitting down to stretch.
Twitter began circulating the news after this original tweet from WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia. It was unclear if Watt meant to disrespect the organization or to fire his team up. Watt confirmed after the game that he did spit on the logo, but he said it isn’t an uncommon routine for him, and he meant no disrespect.
“I do that every game, home or away,” Watt said. “I go out to midfield, I jog out there, spit a little bit, wipe my feet off, and then I go through my stretches. No drama there, that’s 100 percent what I do every game, home or away.”
After the game, Watt said that the Texans entered the locker room at halftime feeling pretty good about scoring 10 unanswered points, but the momentum didn’t carry over to the second half.
“We didn’t play a good game, and they played a very good game,” he said. “They are moving on and we are not. We came in here at halftime feeling pretty good; obviously the long field goal by Shayne [Graham] was a heck of a kick. We came out in the second half and didn’t perform and it is plain and simple. We just didn’t do the things we needed to to do to win.”
Watt finished with four total tackles on the night (one solo), with half a sack, one tackle for loss, and one quarterback hit.
The inability to get pressure on Tom Brady frustrated the Texans defense, especially Watt, who has a total of eight total tackles against the Patriots this season in two games, and no passes defensed.
“He is a very good football player, and a heck of a quarterback,” he said. “Obviously he is one of the best for a reason. We needed to hit him and we needed to knock some balls down, and we didn’t do that and we lost. Obviously all we can do is move forward.”
Watt and the Texans end their season for the second straight year in the divisional playoff round.
“It is really frustrating, because have been here before and you don’t want to get back to where you have been before,” he said. “You want to move on and you want to get better and move forward, and we didn’t do that. We are going to come into next season extremely strong and we are not going to wait to get back to work.”
|J.J. Watt quiet vs. Patriots, but reminds that Texans still control AFC playoff race||12.11.12 at 1:34 am ET|
FOXBORO — Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt entered Foxboro as one of the more feared defensive players in the NFL, and had his name tossed around very early as a defensive player of the year candidate. He leads the league in passes batted down with 15, and has 16.5 sacks on the year with three games left to play.
But on the Monday Night Football stage, Watt went silent against right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, posting just four total tackles (two solo, two assisted) and a forced fumble that actually hurt the Texans when it resulted in a Brandon Lloyd touchdown.
Though he wasn’t a no-show on Monday, by the time his presence was felt, the Patriots had such a commanding lead that his play wasn’t the game-changer it usually is.
“We played a very good football team and they executed everything very well and had a great game plan,” Watt said after the 42-14 Patriots win. “They came in and played a great game, and we didn’t play a great game, and they won.”
The forced fumble occurred at the start of the fourth quarter when the Patriots already held a 28-7 lead. Brady completed a dump pass to Danny Woodhead on a second down and 10. Woodhead scrambled for 16 yards before Watt caught up to him and punched the ball loose.
The bounce the ball took was fitting for the Texans’ night, as Lloyd easily fell it several yards past the goal line.
“A play like that is just tough luck,” Watt said. “I came from the back side and forced a fumble and they get a touchdown out of it. Just a tough night.”
The Patriots now sit a single game behind the Texans in the AFC standings with three games left in the regular season. Both Denver and New England have records of 10-3, while Houston is 11-2. And the Pats have the tiebreaker against both teams.
Watt said that, with two games left against the (now) 9-4 Colts, the focus is more on winning the division more so than taking the top seed in the conference. There are now three teams that could viably win the AFC and receive a first-round bye plus home field advantage.
“We’re 11-2 and we still control our destiny,” he said. “We control everything. We are going to go back and focus on winning the division and locking that up. Everything is in front of us.”
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