The Houston Texans opened their regular season with an embarrassing 29-7 divisional loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium.
The game started with emotions running high. JJ Watt drew shattering cheers as he ran from the tunnel sporting the Texas flag. The rest of the day went quickly downhill.
Starting quarterback Tom Savage was ineffective, going 7-13 for 62 yards. He was replaced in the second half by rookie sensation Deshaun Watson. He led the team to its only score of the day, a 4-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins.
Overall, Watson was 12-23 for 102 yards. He also threw an interception.
The Jaguars were as dominant as the Texans were ineffective. They recorded a franchise record nine sacks, and collected four turnovers. Rookie Leonard Fournette had a big debut. The former LSU running back had 100-yards rushing and scored a touchdown.
The final snaps a six-game winning streak by the Texans. It’s also Jacksonville’s first opening week win since 2011. Watt was embarrassed by the team’s performance.
“We didn’t perform the way we wanted to. We didn’t do nearly enough to win,” Watt stated.
O’Brien defended Savage while at the same time explaining why he felt he had to insert Watson into the game.
“The decision to go with Deshaun really had more to do with finding a spark. I thought that Tom really hung in there and played very tough,” O’Brien stated.
For his part, Savage understood the benching, but he didn’t like it.
“Obviously you never want to be replaced. It’s not a good feeling. But this is a team sport and I will be here for this team,” Savage said.
The Texans have a short week to prepare for their next opponent. They travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals on Thursday night. O’Brien has not committed to either quarterback as his starter for that game as of yet.