Posted on October 30, 2017, by Travis Pulver
For years, the Houston Texans have needed not just a reliable option at quarterback but a playmaker. They are tired of having guys they hoped wouldn’t lose the game for them. They wanted someone who could win games for them. So, they traded up to draft Deshaun Watson with hopes he could be that guy.
Even though the Texans lost to the Seattle Seahawks 41-38 Sunday and their record is 3-4, it is safe to say they found their guy.
Watson has been far from perfect of course, but for a rookie quarterback, he has certainly played well enough. Against Seattle’s Legion of Boom he ended up completing 19 of 30 passes for 402 yards and four touchdowns. He added another 67 yards on the ground (eight carries).
“We’ve been seeing that since he’s gotten here,” wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said. “Throws he’s made, the composure that he has at practice. … We knew he was going to be able to come out and help this team win.”
He also had three interceptions on the day including a pick-6. The third came on the final drive of the game courtesy of Richard Sherman, his second of the day, and ended any chance of a comeback.
Skeptics may try to put the blame for the loss on Watson because of the turnovers. But the Texans wouldn’t have been in the game without him. He has transformed the offense into one that is capable of putting up points against the toughest of defenses— and he’s making history along the way.
With four touchdown passes on the day he took over the record for most touchdown passes in a player’s first seven games (19); a record previously held by Kurt Warner. He also surpassed Peyton Manning, Marcus Mariota, and Dak Prescott for most three-touchdown games by a rookie since the merger in 1970 (4).
He’s tied with Marcus Mariota and Robert Griffin III for most four-touchdown games by a rookie (3).
While the stats are nice, however, they would be a lot nicer if they resulted in more wins than losses.
DeAndre Hopkins gave the Texans a 38-34 lead following a 72-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. With Russell Wilson preparing to pull out a miracle win of his own, the defense stepped up and intercepted Wilson in the red zone.
But then for some insane reason, while it was Watson that got the team in position to win the game, the Texans didn’t give him the chance to close the game out. Rather than let him continue throwing, the Texans tried to burn some time off the clock. They handed the ball off to Lamar Miller four times and let Watson run it once.
They took about a minute off the clock and punted it back to Seattle with 1:49 on the clock. A 48-yard pass to Paul Richardson, a 19-yard pass to Tyler Lockett, and an 18-yard pass to Jimmy Graham later, the Seahawks took the lead, 41-38.
“Our offense deserves all the credit in the world,” Richard Sherman said after the game (ESPN). “They won this game for us.”
Going forward, the Texans have to be happy with what they are getting out of Watson and the offense. But they need to figure out how to get more out of the defense. That is if they are going to make a playoff run this year.
The defense is ranked No. 6 in yards allowed per game. But teams are figuring out how to make the most of those yards with 24.5 points/game (tied for No. 25 with Washington).
The Texans will look to bounce back with a win over the Indianapolis Colts next week.
As for Seattle, they need to trade for some better offensive lineman before the deadline. If not a lineman, they need a better running back. Wilson’s mobility has more to do with him only getting sacked twice by the Texans than his line. With five yards on 16 carries from the three running backs, it is clear something has to change.
They will not find the Redskins pass rush as lenient next week when they travel to Washington.