FOXBORO -- The Houston Texans weren't used to this.
J.J. Watt showed up to New England as a difference maker. He was the guy that was going to cause problems for Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense on Monday night. He was going to be one of the reasons the Texans would win.
Instead, the defensive end's inability to do the dominant things he usually does, was one of the reasons the Texans left Gillette Stadium with their second loss of the season.
Watt entered the game with the most pass deflections out of any defensive lineman in the NFL, with 16. He also entered with the second-most sacks, with 16.5.
He finished Monday night's 42-14 loss to New England with zero pass deflections, zero sacks, and just two solo tackles.
We played a very good football team and they executed everything very well and had a great game plan," said Watt afterward. "They came in and played a great game and we didnt play a great game and they won."
Watt was one of the first Texans players out of the locker room and onto the team bus, following Monday night's loss, a good 25 minutes before the rest of the team.
Frustration showed when he wouldn't stop and talk to several reporters as Texans coach Gary Kubiak's press conference ended.
"I already talked," said Watt, as he stormed towards the bus.
He didn't have much to say. His performance usually speaks for itself. Just not the way he would have liked, on Monday night.
Watt spent most of the night as the left end, lining up with Patriots right guard Dan Connolly and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. It seemed when Connolly and Vollmer double-teamed him consistently, Watt would mix it up and switch over to the right side.
In fairness to Watt, he got to Tom Brady and hit him hard on on five different occasions after the ball was thrown. Only one of those hits came as he rushed from the right side. That hit came in the third quarter. On the exact same possession, Watt moved back over to the left side and was flushed outside by Vollmer, giving Brady enough time to step up into the pocket and find Donte' Stallworth for a 63-yard touchdown pass, giving New England a 28-0 lead.
Watt wasn't really heard from until the second quarter, when he rushed in on Brady untouched from the left side, putting a hard hit on the quarterback just after Brady got rid of the football. By that point, the Patriots already had led 21-0, so unless Watt could cause a turnover, that would have been the only way he'd affect the game.
And indeed, that's just what Watt did. Only, it didn't have the result the Texans wanted.
In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, and the Patriots leading 28-7, Watt chased down running back Danny Woodhead after he caught a short dump-off to the right side. Watt came from behind, at the Texans' 12-yard line, and knocked the ball loose with an uppercut. But the ball bounced all the way into the end zone, where Brandon Lloyd jumped on it for the New England touchdown and a 35-7 Patriots lead.
A play like that is just tough luck," said Watt. "I came from the back side and forced a fumble and they get a touchdown out of it. Just a tough night.
"We had some things we thought we'd be able to do against them, and we didn't do them as well as we wanted to," said Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
"I don't know that they did a whole lot different," added Phillips. "We had some hits on the quarterback. He gets rid of the football. He's not sacked a whole lot, any time in his career, especially this year. So, they get rid of the football."
And on this night, Brady got rid of the football before Watt could get to him, all night long.