The Houston Texans pulled off a 27-20 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, and the play of future Hall-of-Famer J.J. Watt had a lot to do with the victory. Watt batted down four Cam Newton passes and was seen doing the Dikembe Mutombo finger wave after each one. After the game, Watt took to social media to pour salt in the wounds with a GIF of the hoops Hall-of-Famer.
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Watt Drops the Mutombo Finger Wag
Here is a look at the GIF Watt tweeted:
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) November 22, 2020
Putting Watt’s Day Into Perspective
You will rarely see a defensive lineman generate a stat line that looks the way Watt’s did on Sunday. Watt’s Mutombo reference was appropriate despite it originating in a different sport. After the second swat, it appeared he was a bit in Newton’s head the same way an elite shot-blocker in basketball–like Mutombo–might be on the hardwood.
Watt’s play literally changed the game, and it didn’t hurt that one of the swats came on a crucial third-down play that helped decide the game.
Cam Newton Played Well Enough to Win
Despite Newton’s struggle to clear Watt’s outreached mitts at the line of scrimmage, the veteran quarterback played well enough to lead his team to victory. Newton completed 26 of 40 passes for 365 yards, a beautiful touchdown throw to Damiere Byrd, and no interceptions.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels didn’t dial up a ton of options for Newton to run the ball on Sunday, but all in all, the 2015 NFL MVP had a strong game.
The Patriots fell short on Sunday because of their defense’s inability to contain Deshaun Watson, cover the Texans’ wide receivers, and to establish their running game. Watson sliced the Patriots’ defense up like a Thanksgiving ham. When he had time to throw, he delivered the ball to teammates accurately. Even when he was pressured, Watson made the requisite adjustments and moves to keep plays alive, and to gain some yardage with his legs. It was one of the most complete performances Watson has had this season.
The Patriots’ tackling was also pretty spot as well. There were far too many run-after-catch situations, and the secondary struggled in general covering the likes of Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller IV.
Lastly, the Patriots came into this game seemingly knowing they need to run the ball effectively. After a promising early drive, the Patriots playcalling left a bit to be desired. They didn’t run the ball nearly enough, and thus the team got away from its primary strength
The Playoffs Hopes Seem Very Slim
At this point, the Patriots are in a terrible predicament, as it pertains to postseason hopes. The loss dropped them to 4-6, which means they would have to win out just finish 10-6, which isn’t a guarantee. A 5-1 finish would get them to 9-2.
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