The Texans don’t have quarterback Deshaun Watson, their offseason did little to generate optimism about what they can do without him, and they were underdogs against a rookie quarterback and first-time NFL head coach at home in their season opener.
Naturally, they responded to that state of affairs with a resounding 37-21 win over the Jaguars. Tyrod Taylor stepped into Watson’s former role and threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns to pace the offense in the lopsided victory. After the game, Taylor was asked what it meant to come through with a win given the backdrop for the team.
“It means everything to me and I know it means a lot to the guys in the locker room,” Taylor said, via Mark Berman of KRIV. “Since day one, coach Culley made it important that we not focus on outside perception. I think that was something the guys leaned on in the locker room. Just playing for one another. Not necessarily doing it for anything outside the locker room. . . . Just playing for the guys next to you.”
Taylor got some personal validation from the win too. He started and won the Chargers opener last year, but a miscue during a painkilling injection forced him out the next week and Justin Herbert took the job for the rest of the year.
Taylor got another chance on Sunday and made the most of it. Now he just needs to avoid any needles before the Texans face the Browns in Week Two.