HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Deshaun Watson’s play at quarterback for the Houston Texans has been a sight to behold. The rookie out of Clemson has been putting on a clinic in front of some of the top defensive minds in the NFL and none have been able to come up with a scheme that has prevented Watson and the Texans offense from putting up big numbers.
Watson became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to have five total touchdowns in back-to back games after throwing for four TDs and running for a score in last week’s 57-14 win over the Titans.
In Sunday’s loss at home to the unbeaten Chiefs, the rookie signal called threw for five touchdown passes including one on the final play of the game despite the Texans being down 42-26 and not having enough time to rally back for a win.
“Just keep fighting,” Watson said at his post game press conference. “Keep the energy. Keep the leadership up with the guys. The game is never over until the fourth quarter and the clock hits zero, zero.”
Watson is already among the league’s leaders as his 12 touchdown passes trails only Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers who leads the NFL with 13. Watson is also one of only seven NFL quarterbacks with a passer rating above 100. The remaining list includes Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees and his counterpart on Sunday Alex Smith of the Chiefs.
The talent is noticed throughout the roster including the receiving core. DeAndre Hopkins had a career night with three touchdown grabs, including one on the final play of the game, a feat that has only been done one other time in Texans history by a wide receiver.
“I’m impressed with the things that he can do with his feet and with his arm as well,” Hopkins said about Watson’s skill level. “Everybody knows he can run, but still he looks downfield to make plays The throws that he made toward the end of the game were some special throws.”
The Texans also have receiving a boost from their running backs over the past weeks. Starter Lamar Miller had 74 yards on 15 carries, and rookie running back D’Onta Foreman added four carries for 34 yards including a bruising 25 yard run late in the first half.
Foreman was happy that the Texans offense, led by Watson kept trying to move the ball even in the final moments with the game decided.
“We fought,” Foreman said about playing to score until the final play. “There’s a lot of guys in this room that don’t quit and we showed that tonight. Nobody gave up, everybody fought to the end and you’ve got to respect that.”
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has been searching for a quarterback since he arrived in Houston in 2014. He’s had nine different quarterbacks start a game for the Texans and has had several fail at even managing the complex offense, including hand picked ones like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Hoyer.
With Watson’s arrival, O’Brien has admitted he’s had to learn from Watson as much as Watson is learning the NFL game. O’Brien has adapted elements of the offense to include read-option and quarterback draws to take advantage of Watson’s skillset.
O’Brien who has had offenses struggle to score points in the past three seasons now has had point totals of 33, 57, and 34 points in the last three weeks with Watson at the helm. While the Texans may only have a 2-2 record in Watson’s starts the growth has certainly been expedited and could bode well for the Texans moving forward.
“I think every game is a learning experience for him,” O’Brien said after the Texans loss to the Chiefs Sunday. “I really think he’s an excellent young quarterback and I thought he kept competing right to the end. He’s a great kid. He’s a lot of fun to coach. He’s obviously got a great future.”
The future will almost certainly be great for Watson, but the present has already been superb.
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio