"Our goal was to come out here and make the Red Rifle look like a Red Ryder BB gun," Watt said.
After a 22-for-38 performance for just 197 yards and an interception, Houston more or less accomplished that mission.
Dalton, neverminding that fact, took serious exception to the pass rusher's comments.
"I am disappointed in him for the integrity of this game," the Bengals quarterback said. "I have a lot of respect for him. He's a really good player. And so there's a lot of kids and a lot of people that look up to him. And for him to make comments like that, it just shows that it's acceptable to do that kind of stuff and say that kind of stuff. So I mean, it's disappointing for one of the best players in this league to come out and say something like that.
"I think J.J. is a good player but for him to be one of the best in this league and just show that integrity and show that type of -- you know it shows what he's about, which is disappointing."
Dalton had been having an MVP-caliber season prior to his uninspiring performance against the Texans. With 18 touchdowns to just four picks, plus a 111.0 quarterback rating, the Red Rifle was finally living up to his nickname.
But playing against a Houston defense that appeared to confuse him throughout the evening, Dalton managed a measly 5.2 yards per pass attempt while taking three sacks. Granted, he wasn't helped out by some key Tyler Eifert drops, but regardless, Watt's playful jab was accurate. He did look more like a BB gun than a rifle against the 4-5 Texans.
Which made his response to Watt's comments look like quite the overreaction.
"Man, that was funny, stop being sensitive," Willie McGinest said on NFL Network's NFL Total Access Live after the game. "Here's the thing, if you would've won, it wouldn't have been a problem."
Added NFL Network's Michael Robinson: "He made a joke. Don't be a BB gun. Don't be a BB gun."