After scoring just seven points in his playoff debut a year ago, quarterback Deshaun Watson wasn’t going to let the Houston Texans falter again.
Even if it took an unbelievable play in overtime Saturday to get the win.
In the Texans’ 22-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Watson spun out of what looked to be a certain sack on second-and-6 to stay upright and find running back Taiwan Jones for 34 yards to set up first-and-goal at the Buffalo 10. Watson flexed both arms as the crowd at NRG Stadium went wild. On the next play, Houston won the AFC wild-card game on a 28-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn.
“I just told myself to stay up,” Watson said about avoiding the sack. “It’s do or die right now, and all that work I put in in the offseason, I just had to make a play. Somebody had to be great — why not me?”
The Texans will next go on the road to play the No. 2-seeded Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said he didn’t realize Watson made two players miss until he looked up to the video board after the play was over. Watson, who was hit as he threw, didn’t see Jones make the catch because he was falling to the ground.
“The pressure was there,” Watson said. “I just kind of braced myself and spun out of it. I knew exactly where Taiwan was going to be at.”
Watson was 4-of-5 for 107 yards when under pressure in the fourth quarter and overtime on Saturday, including that 34-yard pass to Jones, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
After Houston’s offense struggled in the first half, Watson put the Texans on his back in the second half and overtime to lead his team to its first playoff victory since he was drafted in 2017.
“He’s got a huge heart,” coach Bill O’Brien said of Watson. “He’s been winning his whole life, and he knows how to win.”
“We knew exactly what they were going to do in the second half,” Watson said. “All we had to do was just kind of get back in that routine and find that rhythm.”
Watson finished the game completing 20 of 25 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback also ran for 55 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
“All you need is a little spark with this team,” Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said. “You’re never out of the game when you have Deshaun Watson as your quarterback.”