The Lightning Rod: Watson and Watt Too Much for Chargerscsudhbulletin September 24, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson finished Sunday’s game with 351 yards through the air and three touchdown passes, and J.J. Watt had two of the Texans’ five sacks of Phillip Rivers as they downed the Los Angeles Chargers 27-20.
Watson hit tight end Jordan Akins for the first of his two touchdowns, and threw the other to his other tight end, Darren Fells. The Texans (2-1) rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit by scoring 20 unanswered points in their win over the Chargers (1-2).
Wide receiver Keenan Allen had himself a career day, catching 13 passes for a career-high 183 yards and two touchdowns from Rivers, who threw for 318 yards in the Chargers’ second straight loss.
This is the fifth consecutive season where the Chargers have a losing record after three games. They also started 1-2 last season before getting hot and winning six straight games, eventually finishing the season at 12-4.
Watson’s ability to escape a collapsing pocket was on full display against the Chargers, as he constantly eluded the pressure put on by the Chargers’ pass rush. Watson’s biggest moment came when he escaped a sack from Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, only to scramble and hit Akins for a 53-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
The Chargers trimmed the lead to seven points and were moving into Houston territory in the final three minutes of the game. A huge completion that would’ve put the Chargers inside the Houston 10-yard line was wiped out by a holding penalty on left tackle Trent Scott with less than 30 seconds left to play. Rivers threw two incompletions on the final two plays to grant the Texans the victory,
The Texans defense constantly hunted Rivers all game long, applying constant pressure in his face. D.J. Reader had 1.5 sacks while Watt forced a fumble in the third quarter by the Chargers’ veteran QB.
Each team exchanged scores in the second quarter, with Watson hitting Fells on a 16-yard TD pass and Rivers hitting Allen just before the half to put the Chargers up 17-7.
Running back Carlos Hyde scored his first touchdown for Houston and cut the lead down to three, and the Texans’ defense created a turnover to give the offense the ball back. On the next drive, Watson hit Akins for a 15-yard touchdown to put his team ahead late in the third quarter.
The Chargers have a flurry of injuries in the early going, especially in the secondary. Three untested defensive backs started in their secondary during Sunday’s matchup against the Texans. Kicker Michael Badgley missed his third straight game and punter Ty Long had to fill in again for kicking duties.
Texans: Will return home to host the Carolina Panthers (1-2) who will be playing without their starting quarterback Cam Newton as he battles a foot injury. The Panthers are coming off a win where backup QB Kyle Allen threw for four TDs against the Arizona Cardinals.
Chargers: Will look to bounce back as they travel to Miami to face a Dolphins team that has yet to win a game this season. Miami is coming off a 30-14 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots.