Outside of the awful AFC East, few teams have been victimized by the New England Patriots this century like the Houston Texans. The Patriots defense he faced was comprised of backups and players who are no longer on the team.
Watson replaced Tom Savage in Week 1 of the regular season after Savage had been named the starter. This guy is an experienced guy from the standpoint of he has played in some big games before. Since then, the Texans have had such an uninspiring hodgepodge of quarterbacks that could make even the Cleveland Browns feel better about themselves.
The Texans gave the Pats a pretty good run for their money in the divisional round a year ago, and Brady admitted as much in his press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Watson, the 12th overall pick in last April's draft out of Clemson, also finished as the game's leading rusher.
Brady is coming off an epic game against the New Orleans Saints, a win he engineered by completing 30 of 39 passes for 447 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
"Obviously we'll try to do some of the things that we did past year, but obviously they're expecting it", Mercilus said. "It highlights his ability to make plays when things break down". Watson worked against New England's defense in training camp during joint practices and in preseason action. Schaub, for example, was a statue at quarterback. He's very calm. A real smooth guy.
The Texans are ranked above just two other teams who have won a game. Michael Vick set the gold standard for runners at quarterback; he's the only QB in National Football League history to average more than 7.0 yards per carry.
Regardless of Fuller's availability, the Texans will once again be big underdogs in New England, where the Patriots opened as 13-point favorites. It's a day defenders will receive the initial parts of a game plan that should emphasize not letting Watson's athleticism beat them. The Patriots hosted two rookie quarterbacks that year and outscored their teams 87-24. He seems up to the task at hand.
"He's a great quarterback", outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus said.
In rushing, Mike Gillislee had 69 yards and a TD in 18 carries while Dion Lewis ran for 14 yards in four attempts. The Titans quarterback was 3 of 6 for 32 yards before he left in the second quarter with a knee injury. The Patriots are 15-5 in those games. Wilson would very likely be 3-0 vs.
Rodgers rushed for only 22 yards on five carries in his lone career start vs. the Patriots, but he threw for 368 yards in Green Bay's 26-21 win on November 30, 2014.
What's more, both of those games weren't in Belichick's turf.
Plenty of rookie quarterbacks have walked into Gillette Stadium during Belichick's tenure with the Patriots, but none has walked out with a victory. "I think it's just a really good program they have".
"We have to do a good job of containing him and do a good job of tackling him because he's a tough guy to get down when he runs", Belichick said Wednesday.
I'm sure Patriots' defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and head coach Bill Belichick will do their best to rattle Watson.
As a rare dual-threat quarterback, Watson still has a lot to learn.
"I don't know", Belichick said. "We'll have a good practice week and go up there and play hard".