The Texans clearly had a plan against the Patriots last night, but there was still room for a little improvisation.
The end result was Watson diving into the end zone for a 28-9 lead in the fourth quarter, which allowed them to withstand a futile Patriots rally.
Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans coach Bill O’Brien said the players involved came to him with the play.
“I think they drew it up in the dirt over the bye week,” O’Brien said. “They brought it in, had it on a piece of notebook paper, handed it to me. We’ve been working on that for a while. The timing was right. Wasn’t the exact look we thought we were going to get and they made it work.”
Watson said he and backup quarterback A.J. McCarron were watching film one day, and drew inspiration from a similar play the Bears ran with Mitchell Trubisky, and it didn’t take much convincing their teammates.
“And we were like actually we can probably run that,” Watson said. “And then Hop saw it and Hop, of course he’s like, ‘Let’s do it, let’s do it!'”
Naturally, Hopkins was fond of his work as distributor.
“I would give myself a 10 maybe because I took a hit just to get it to him,” Hopkins said. “They played it very well. He was patient. I knew I had to kind of tuck the ball, wait for him to commit, to throw it to Deshaun. I knew once I threw it to him, he was going to be in.
“In practice, it wasn’t a guy flipping me at practice. It was a lot clearer. I knew holding onto the ball, getting the guy to commit, it would lead to Deshaun being open. I knew all I had to do was give him the ball.”
It worked beautifully, and may lead them back to the playground to create more masterpieces for later.