Week 3 Result: Lost to the New England Patriots 36-33
What it Means: A loss to the Patriots shouldn’t be considered embarrassing by any stretch of the imagination considering the dominance of Bill Belichick’s team over the last decade. Even though they lost, the game had some very encouraging signs for Houston fans. Deshaun Watson was able to hang with Tom Brady for four quarters (and proved himself to be a class act when he later donated his first game check to three cafeteria workers who had lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey).
Had Coach Bill O’Brien managed the clock better by going for a fourth-and-one late in the game to put it away, the Texans could have pulled off a huge upset. The defense finally showed how disruptive it could be with Jadeveon Clowney continuing to come into his own with two sacks and a scoop-and-score. There were many positives that can be drawn from this game despite their defeat. If Watson can continue his development, this Texans team will be one to watch in the AFC South playoff race.
What’s Next: Houston takes on Tennessee in Week 4 in what should be a very important divisional matchup. Up to this point, the Titans have looked to be the better team with two dominant wins over a playoff Seattle team and a surprisingly tough Jacksonville Jaguars squad. Over the past couple of seasons, the Texans have taken advantage of its division rivals to earn playoff berths.
This game will feature two special young quarterbacks facing off in what could be a rivalry for years to come. Sunday’s matchup will show whether or not the Titans can improve their divisional record, which was abysmal only a year ago. The Texans must win next week’s game to avoid dropping to a 1-3 record and an 0-2 record in the division. It is only Week 4, but this game will have huge playoff implications for the AFC South.