Deshaun Watson has long admired Tom Brady for his talent and resilience.
He beat him on Sunday by not only throwing touchdown passes, but by catching one, too.
“I told them I’m an athlete ... the more you can do, the longer you play in this league,” Watson said. “So I can do it all.”
Watson threw three touchdown passes and had the first touchdown reception of his career as the Houston Texans frustrated Brady in a 28-22 victory over the New England Patriots.
Texans coach and former Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien got his first win in six tries against New England coach Bill Belichick. It was Houston’s second win over the Patriots and their first since Jan. 3, 2010.
Watson had 234 yards passing and threw touchdown passes of 14, 13 and 35 yards as Houston (8-4) built a 21-3 lead against New England’s vaunted defense.
“This is pretty big just because it’s Brady,” Watson said. “I was 0-2 against him and who knows when he’s going to hang it up. That’s my role model, a guy that’s been doing it forever, over 20 years ... so it’s pretty awesome to finally get one.”
Brady completed two of his three touchdown passes in the final four minutes to pull within six points. A Patriots (10-2) player got a hand on Jake Bailey’s onside kick attempt with 50 seconds remaining, but the ball bounced out of bounds.
“There’s really not a whole lot to say here,” Belichick said. “The Texans did a good job tonight, across the board, in every area. They were just better than we were.”
The Patriots entered the game needing a win to be the first American Football Conference team to clinch a playoff spot after the Oakland Raiders lost 40-9 to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier in the day. Instead, they struggled to sustain drives and Brady often looked upset on a night he was 24 of 47.
He threw an interception and was sacked three times, hit on 12 other occasions and was seen yelling at his receivers on the sideline after a drive with several incompletions in the first half.
He finished with 326 yards.
“Execution,” Brady said. “Just got to do a better job, and it’s tough to get behind and come back. Just put ourselves in a pretty deep hole and you can’t do that on the road.”
Elsewhere, the Ravens edged the 49ers 20-17, the Packers pummeled the Giants 31-13, the Bengals downed the Jets 22-6, the Dolphins sank the Eagles 37-31 and the Steelers beat the Browns 20-13.
The Titans crushed the Colts 31-17, the Rams routed the Cardinals 34-7, the Broncos tripped up the Chargers 23-20, the Buccaneers battered the Jaguars 28-11 and the Redskins ran out 29-21 winners over the Panthers.
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