The Texans tried to fool us all to start the season. Instead of them starting the season with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, they trotted out there Tom Savage. That not only was insulting to the fans of that team but the players of that team as well. No way do you draft a player as high as you did him with the quarterback problems they have had the last couple of seasons and not start him. Not only did the Texans do that but they even allowed Savage to show us how bad he was. The veteran quarterback did not even complete over 100 yards passing in the first half of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Finally the charade was over when the second half happened and Deshaun Watson was announced as starting the second half. The rookie quarterback proceeded to lead the Texans offense down the field for a touchdown and got the crowd in Houston buzzing. Unfortunately, the Texans were not ever that close again, but they did finally admit what everyone knew: Watson was the best quarterback on that roster. On a short week, the Texans named him the starter for their Thursday night tilt against the Cincinnati Bengals on the road. Immediately, everyone wondered how Watson would do as the starter. Well, we definitely got some answers in this game versus the Bengals.
When rookie quarterbacks come into the NFL, they usually stare down their receivers and make mistakes when reading defenses. Watson was one player that some scouts were concerned on how he would maneuver the pocket when it came to decision-making. Well, Watson was actually pretty solid in not doing the typical things that rookies do. He actually took what the defense gave him majority of the time. A perfect example of this was the last drive of the first half. Instead of Watson forcing it in to playmakers like DeAndre Hopkins, Watson was content with hitting his running backs underneath to gain some positive yardage. And when the time presented itself in that drive, Watson found Hopkins right down the middle of the field for a huge gain. Watson would cap off the drive with a 49 yard run where he scanned the field, went through his progressions and then took off up the middle of the field. He then eluded a couple defenders while scampering down the right sideline and he cut back towards the middle of the field where he found the endzone for the first time in his professional career. The drive showed a little bit of everything that Watson can do and ended up being a huge drive towards the 13-9 win the Texans posted over the Bengals.
With that being said, the Texans seemed to have the wraps on Watson in this game, like most teams would with a rookie quarterback. Texans coach Bill O’Brien was calling more predictable and safe calls during the entire game. There were a few times that the Texans had a third-and-one scenario and they gave the football to their running back every single time. That type of play calling is not going to win many games because the team becomes predictable and defenses are too good in the NFL to run a predictable offense. Hopefully this game showed the Texans that maybe Watson was a little bit more prepared than they thought he was. Besides maybe one play where he did not think through the decision, he showed that he can handle a NFL game and handle it with grace and composure. If he is indeed your future at quarterback, you may as well see what you have in him and stop trying to run all the vanilla stuff.
Overall, the first start was not incredible by Watson but it was not bad either. He protected the football and he made plays when they were there to be made and that is all that he could have done. As time goes on and the Texans give him more of the playbook, hopefully he gets to show his full ability as a NFL quarterback. Watson is definitely very talented and although they made a mistake at the beginning of the season with starting Savage, they finally got it right by going to Watson now instead of waiting until later and because of that, they now have a chance to win games.
The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free’s World, the website for radio personality and former co-host of BET’s 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on SPORTSAWAKENING.COM. Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Cubs and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.