Texans Use Trick Play Drawn Up By Players To Take Down Patriots
Hopkins & Watson’s Trick Play Key To Victory
Fans of the NFL have gotten used to Deshaun Watson throwing touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins. Against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, Hopkins got the chance to return the favor.
On a fourth-quarter trick play in the red zone, Watson took a shotgun snap and handed the ball off to running back Duke Johnson, who quickly handed the ball to Hopkins in the reverse direction. Hopkins and Watson then ran a sort of an option play from that point, and Hopkins was able to flip the ball to his quarterback just as he was taking a hit.
Watson dove into the end zone for the Texans’ fourth touchdown of the night in what was recorded as Hopkins’ first pass completion and Watson’s first reception of their respective careers.
“They Drew That One Up In The Dirt”
“I think they drew that one up in the dirt over the bye week,” said Texans head coach Bill O’Brien of his star players. “They had it on a piece of notebook paper, and they handed it to me.”
Houston’s trick play, designed by Watson and his teammates, ended up being the game-winner as the Texans eventually put away the Patriots by a score of 28-22.
In addition to his touchdown reception, Watson completed 24 passes for 326 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Texans Keep Lead In AFC South
While the Patriots fell to 10-2 and lost control of the AFC’s top position, the Texans were able to improve to 8-4 and keep a one-game lead over the 7-5 Titans in the division race.
The AFC South is likely to be decided by the two remaining games between Houston and Tennessee, but the Texans’ big win over New England keeps them in the driver’s seat. With a record of 3-1 against division opponents, Houston also owns the tiebreaker over Tennessee, which is 2-2 against the AFC South.
Odds Show Houston As Clear Favorite
In the final weeks of the regular season, the Texans will also play 4-8 Denver and 5-7 Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Titans will go up against 6-6 Oakland and 10-2 New Orleans.
With those remaining schedules, Houston appears to have a straight shot to the postseason, and the odds reflect as much.
After taking down New England, Houston is a significant favorite to win the AFC South with odds of -260. Tennessee trails behind with odds of +250.
Watson Making Late Run At MVP
If Watson somehow ends up winning this year’s MVP Award, his touchdown reception against New England could very well be his “MVP moment” of the season.
But with Lamar Jackson leading the Ravens to the AFC’s top spot, how realistic is a Watson MVP run?
On the season, Watson has completed 69.2 percent of his passes (fifth in the league) for 3,133 yards (seventh), 23 touchdowns (tied for third), and seven interceptions.
A Three-Man Race
Those numbers are good enough to keep any player in the MVP conversation, but Watson will need to duplicate his performance against the Patriots several more times if he’ll have a chance at becoming the NFL’s most valuable player.
However, Watson has now turned the MVP hunt into a three-man race after it appeared that Jackson and Russell Wilson would separate themselves from the pack.
Right now, Jackson is still the favorite to win the award with odds of -250, followed by Wilson at +350. But after a big performance against New England, Watson has seen his odds improve from +2500 to +1100, giving him an outside shot to win MVP.