HOUSTON — A brutal season for the Houston Texans turned even more brutal Sunday as the team closed out Week 16 with its fourth-consecutive loss – 37-31 to the Cincinnati Bengals – to move to 4-11.
Star defensive end J.J. Watt was asked after the game about whether the team will be able to regroup and finish the season on a positive note. His answer was as honest as it gets.
“We're professional athletes getting paid a whole lot of money. If you can't come in and put work in in the building, go out to the practice field and work hard and do your lifts and do what you're supposed to do, you should not be here,” he said. “There are a lot of people that watch us and invest their time and their money into buying our jerseys and buying a whole bunch of s--- and they care about it. They care every single week. We're in Week 16 and we're 4-11 and there's fans that watched this game, that show up to the stadium, that put in time and energy and effort and care about this. So if you can't go out there and you can't work out, you can't show up on time, you can't practice, you can't want to go out there and win, you shouldn't be here, because this is a privilege.
“It's the greatest job in the world. You get to go out and play a game. And if you can't care enough, even in Week 17, even when you're trash, even when you're 4-11, if you can't care enough to go out there, give everything you've got and try your hardest, that's bulls---.”
Watt went on to say he feels bad for Texans fans, saying they have no reason to root for the team, but “they still want to win and they still want you to be great.”
“That's who I feel the most bad for is our fans and the people who care so deeply and the city and the people who love it and who truly want it to be great. And it's not,” Watt said. “And that sucks as a player, to know that we're not giving them what they deserve.”
The Texans' defense on Sunday allowed 540 yards against Cincinnati. Houston’s 4-11 record is its worst through 16 games since 2017, when quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL.
Watt, 31, is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and in his 10th season with the Texans.