HOUSTON — Entering the last two weeks of the year, the Houston Texans have reversed their win-loss listing from one year ago.
This past year, they certainly were 410. Right now, they’re 10-4.
A significant part of the turnaround has been the access to key play makers on both the defense and offense.
With two games remaining in the 20 17 season, the depleted Texans had nearly two dozen players on injured reserve, including defensive ending J.J. Watt, quarterback Deshaun Watson, linebacker Whitney Mercilus and a ton of other novices. Of Houston’s last eight first-round selections, five missed at least four games to harms in 20 17.
That is why it will come as no shock Watt — that left four straight Pro Bowls from 2012 to 2015 earlier injury-plagued seasons in 2016 and 2017 — was again called to the Pro Bowl.
He shrugged off the accolades on Wednesday when asked about it.
“It is an honour, but the Pro Bowl is kinda — after all, when you look around the league at guys that probably should’ve made it and stuff like this, I am talking about… I only want to win football games,” Watt said.
Back in 2016 and 2017, Watt missed a total of 24 games — , with just two back surgeries in 20-16, and after that with a broken leg in 20 17.
“Obviously, the past two years were exceptionally difficult,” Watt said. “However, to be this, to be playing soccer in December, playing in big games in summer months and me being available on the field participating in those games, is great. That is only — it feels good to be back in that circumstance, to be back on the area, to be having the sacks, to be playing good football, to be with the inventors. I can let you know it’s a hell of a lot better than sitting on the couch and watching it in home”
Having Watt on the field instead of the couch has additionally been tremendous to the Texans.
Within the last three seasons, for example 2018, the Texans are 14-8 when Watt plays in the match and 915 when he doesn’t.
“It is tough to put in words exactly what he has been able to do along with coming straight back from the harms that he’s had,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien explained. “You think about the injuries and the task that enters the rehabbing and the mindset that you have to consume — notably at the career that he playswith. His own power to drive himself to get back to the very top of his match and being elite — he’s a excellent player and we’re fortunate to have him on our team”
Watson’s health is also critical for the Texans.
He’s only the next player in NFL history to record at least 5,000 metres and 40 passing touchdowns through 2 1 games, linking Kurt Warner along with Dan Marino.
Even the Texans (10-4) now visit the reigning Super Bowl winners in Philadelphia (7 7 ) to face an Eagles team that has faced its share of hardship with injuries this past year. A triumph for Houston can clinch the AFC South and keep the Texans on pace to earn a first-round bye.
As winners of 10 of their past 11, O’Brien and the Texans are respecting the importance of staying healthy and staying in the hunt as long as you can.
“This season is a great example of that — you can’t only ride the wave,” O’Brien explained. “You’ve got to do your best to try and stay steady. It’s good that we’ve won plenty of close games, and we’ve got a team that plays very hard with good effort and plays together.
“It hasn’t always been pretty, but we have been able to turn out on the winning ending more than the losing end. We’ve got a steady team that really thinks in one another, and that’s the place you want to be around xmas time and at the hunt.”