Celtics

Watt anxious for rematch against Patriots

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Watt anxious for rematch against Patriots

FOXBORO -- J.J. Watt didn't waste any time getting out of the Houston Texans' locker room following their 42-14 loss to the Patriots on Dec. 10 at Gillette Stadium.
It was Monday Night Football. The Texans were embarrassed. Watt was contained. And he didn't stick around afterwards to talk too much about it.
As most of the media left Gary Kubiak's post game press conference -- which happens immediately after the game -- Watt was already speed-walking to the team bus. As the media masses walked with him, he said, "I already talked."
Only, most people wouldn't have known what he said, had it not been for the post game transcripts provided by media relations.
Watt left the room a good 20 minutes before everyone else on the team. He finished the game with no batted balls and zero sacks. The only big play he made was a forced fumble, but the loose ball ended up in the end zone and in the hands of the Patriots for a touchdown.
It just wasn't his night.
"Obviously I didn't play well enough," said Watt in a conference call on Wednesday. "I mean, I got quite a few hits on Brady, but obviously the ball was gone every time. I didn't bat any balls, I didn't have any tackles for a loss, so, I need to do more. I think that's understood. I think that's known. But that's why you get another shot. This is the playoffs, and I'm going to bring everything I have."
Watt and the Texans will get another shot on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in the Divisonal Round.
"You can learn a lot," he said about Houston's previous loss to New England. "You can look at formations, tendencies, personnel, everything. You look at the whole big picture, you look at small things, you look at individual players, you look at just about everything and then you try and find ways to use it. And you also look and see what they've done since you played them. Because obviously no team stays the same. You see what they do differently now, and you try and figure out what they're going to do this time."
Following the Week 14 loss, the rest of the Texans had already answered those tough questions.
"They showed us what championship ball is," said Houston linebacker Bradie James after the game. "I think we put too much focus on this game as just a huge game, and not doing our approach as far as just going 1-0. And sometimes guys get a little tight, things get a little out of hand. But the Patriots played lights out in the first half. That's what it takes. I think they showed us what it takes to be a champion.
"Man, we just didn't play the way that we wanted to," added James. "But like I said, we got that example, as far as the intensity, the way you have to come out and you have to play when you come into somebody's house. These guys have been good for so long, and so, we know now. We know. And it's up to us to just man up, take this one. We've got to take it on the chin, and get ready to go back to work."
That was then. This is now. And the Texans are looking forward to the rematch.
"Of course," said Watt on Wednesday. "Nobody likes playing like that, on national television, in front of the whole country. You don't like to put on a showing like we put on last time, and we're really excited about another opportunity to go up there, a very tough place to play, obviously a great football team. If you want to win a Super Bowl in this league, you have to go through some very, very good football teams. And the Patriots are a very, very good football team.
"We know how to win football games," added Watt. "Obviously we didn't play good the last time we were up there. I think we can all agree on that. I don't think we need to keep re-hashing it. And I think we just need to play our style of football. We're the Houston Texans. We'll do what we do. And we're going to go up there and give it everything we've got. And we're really excited about the challenge."

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Hopes that the Celtics would have Gordon Hayward back in the lineup later this year were dashed last night by Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night for a fractured and dislocated left tibia, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens had said earlier in the day that Hayward's prognosis would be better known after doctors saw the extent of the damage. When the operation was over, Bartelstein told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski not to expect Hayward to play again this season.

But there is good news:

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“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Stevens had said earlier. “No timeline on it, but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE