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Friday, December 23, 2011
Watt takes blame for big penalty night

By Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS – J.J. Watt is no-nonsense.

Watt
Watt
So after the Texans lost a 19-16 decision to the Colts on Thursday night, as he fielded questions about his large role in a bad penalty night for the Houston, he didn’t want to discuss nuance.

“No matter how they happen, you can’t get penalties,” the defensive end said following a game that included a sack, two tackles for loss and three batted passes. “They were called. That’s all I can say. The penalties were called, you can’t argue with the referee and we’ve got to move forward.”

The Texans were flagged for 11 penalties worth 84 yards and six first downs. Three more calls were declined.

Watt was flagged for illegal use of the hands — the penalty was declined — and a highly debatable roughing-the-passer call in the first half. Then he was called for illegal use of the hands and roughing the passer on a hit below the knees on consecutive plays during the Colts’ game-winning touchdown drive. The pair got Indianapolis 14 yards closer to the end zone and stopped the clock for a team with no timeouts.

“We hurt ourselves way too much all night long,” coach Gary Kubiak said, after doing his best to take the blame for a lack of discipline.

Watt was told he hit Dan Orlovsky in the helmet on the first roughing call. If he did, it was the sort of glancing, incidental touch that’s not supposed to be a penalty. Replays showed him tackling the quarterback right at the waist.

A fourth-quarter call against Indianapolis safety Antoine Bethea also elicited gasps from the crowd. Bethea crashed into Kevin Walter and was whistled for unnecessary roughness when he appeared to not even be trying to hit the receiver as he went for the ball. The resulting 15 yards helped move the Texans to a field goal that built their lead to 16-12.

"I was just trying to go for the ball and we collided. I guess I’ll be waiting on that FedEx on Wednesday," Bethea said, referring to how the league informs players of fines. "When they throw the flag, we’re not going to argue with it.”