Robert Griffin III

Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III throws against the Houston Texans during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt wreaked havoc on Washington’s NFL team with three tackles, a sack, a blocked extra point, a swatted pass and a fumble recovery as  Washington fell to the Texans, 14-6, in the regular season opener on Sept. 7 in Houston.

Houston’s top-notch defense, featuring Watt and safety D.J. Swearinger, put relentless pressure on Washington quarterback Robert GriffinIII, who was sacked three times. Watt—who recently signed a $100 million contract extension—gave Griffin an especially hard time, sacking him once and hitting him several other times. Griffin finished 29-of-37 for 267 yards, although he mostly stuck to short, safe passes.

Both teams remained scoreless until midway through the second quarter, when Washington fullback Darrel Young rushed up the middle into the end zone. Watt, however, continued his steady intensity and blocked the extra kick.

Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) runs with the ball during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

On the next drive, Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a deep right pass and connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 76-yard touchdown. Two minutes later, a blocked punt was recovered by Houston running back Alfred Blue for another touchdown. The Texans led 14-6 at halftime.

In the third quarter, it looked like Washington’s offense had finally found a good rhythm during an 11-play, 78-yard drive. Most of the team’soffensive weapons were able to get touches, including running backs Alfred Morris and Roy Helu, Jr. and wide receiver Desean Jackson. However, Griffin botched a handoff to Morris at Houston’s seven-yard line, and Watt was there to recover the ball.

Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul (84) carries the ball against Houston Texans defensive back Danieal Manning (38) during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

Turnovers plagued Washington’s NFL team for the entire game. On the next drive, tight end Niles Paul caught a 48-yard reception to Houston’s nine-yard line, only to fumble the ball after Swearinger’s took him down.

Late in the fourth quarter, Houston kicker Randy Bullock made a 42-yard field goal to seal the game.

Both teams lost key players in the first half. Washington tight end Jordan Reed suffered a left hamstring injury in the first quarter. Houston linebacker—and overall first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft—Jadeveon Clowney left late in the second quarter with a knee injury.

Next up, Washington will face the Jacksonville Jaguars at home on Sept. 14.

Breana Pitts

Special to the AFRO