■ Joseph saves Tex­ans with in­ter­cep­tion TD

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS -

HOUS­TON — On a day Hous­ton quar­ter­back De­shaun Wat­son wasn’t at his best, the de­fense helped the Tex­ans pull out an­other win.

Johnathan Joseph’s 28-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a touch­down with 1:23 re­main­ing lifted the Tex­ans to their third straight vic­tory, a 20-13 win over the Buf­falo Bills on Sun­day.

The Tex­ans trailed by three when Phillip Gaines was called for pass in­ter­fer­ence on Will Fuller in the end zone with 2 min­utes re­main­ing, mov­ing the Tex­ans 41 yards to the 1-yard line.

But the Tex­ans (3-3) lost 7 yards on three plays, capped by an in­com­plete pass in­tended for Ryan Grif­fin that Matt Mi­lano knocked down to force Hous­ton to kick.

A 27-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fair­bairn tied it with 1:34 re­main­ing.

Two plays later Joseph stepped in front of a pass from backup Nathan Peter­man in­tended for Kelvin Ben­jamin and dashed untouched into the end zone to put the Tex­ans on top and help them avoid their third straight over­time game.

“I kind of thought for a sec­ond to just get there and hold the ball so we can the run clock out,” Joseph said. “But then I was like: ‘A chance like that (doesn’t) come by so of­ten. I’ve got to score this.’”

The Bills had a chance to tie af­ter that, but Ka­reem Jack­son in­ter­cepted Peter­man with 35 sec­onds left to se­cure the vic­tory.

Joseph’s late-game hero­ics helped Hous­ton to its third straight win on a day Wat­son com­mit­ted three turnovers.

The Bills hur­ried and ha­rassed Wat­son all day, sack­ing him seven times and hit­ting him 12 more. Wat­son, ques­tion­able this week with a chest in­jury, was slow to get up sev­eral times and didn’t seem to be mov­ing as well as he nor­mally does.

Wat­son brushed off ques­tions about his health, say­ing he didn’t “want to make any ex­cuses,” but his team­mates ac­knowl­edged the in­jury and said it made them want to do more to help him.

“When you’ve got a guy that sac­ri­fices ev­ery­thing when he’s hurt, every­body around him bet­ter do the same thing, es­pe­cially if it’s your quar­ter­back,” de­fen­sive end Jade­veon Clowney said. “I think every­body put that on their shoul­ders this week and just tried to give it all up for him.”

Wat­son was 15 of 25 for 177 yards with a touch­down and two in­ter­cep­tions. He also lost a fum­ble.

Peter­man threw for 61 yards with a touch­down and two in­ter­cep­tions for the Bills (2-4) af­ter tak­ing over for rookie Josh Allen, who left with an el­bow in­jury late in the third quar­ter. Allen threw for 84 yards and ran for 20.

Bills coach Sean McDer­mott said af­ter the game that they were still eval­u­at­ing Allen’s in­jury.

He saw some good things from Peter­man but was dis­ap­pointed with his turnovers.

“At the end of the game ... he was prob­a­bly try­ing to do too much,” McDer­mott said. “I don’t want to paint it all bad, but we’ve got to pro­tect the foot­ball and make sure we’re smart.”

The Bills took their first lead of the game when Peter­man found Zay Jones in the cor­ner of the end zone on a 16-yard pass that made it 13-10 early in the fourth quar­ter.

Lorenzo Alexan­der tipped a pass by Wat­son at the line and in­ter­cepted it on the first drive of the sec­ond half. The Bills had a first down at the 8-yard line be­fore their of­fense stalled and they kicked a 22-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3.

Peter­man’s first pass af­ter tak­ing over was in­com­plete and his sec­ond was short of a first down, and the Bills added a 52-yard field goal to get within 10-6.

Wat­son was sacked on Hous­ton’s next drive and Har­ri­son Phillips re­cov­ered his fum­ble at the Hous­ton 32 near the end of the third quar­ter.

The Tex­ans re­cov­ered a fum­ble on a punt re­turn and took ad­van­tage of the mis­take a few plays later when Wat­son con­nected with DeAn­dre Hop­kins on a 13-yard pass to make it 7-0. A 33-yard field goal pushed the lead to 10-0 in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.