When quarterback Deshaun Watson entered National Football League, he had the look of someone who was ready to do some special things. Watson came to the NFL fresh off of leading the Clemson Tigers to a national championship. In Watson’s last two years at Clemson, his combined record was 28-2 which included him getting his team past the always tough Alabama Crimson Tide this past January to win it all. However Watson’s collegiate success would not prevent him from being passed over in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns entered the draft in the possession of the first overall pick and many people felt that they needed to select a quarterback. The Browns would bypass Watson in favor of defensive end Myles Garrett. However the Browns had multiple first-round picks in the draft, and when the 12th overall pick came around, Cleveland was set to select again. But instead of taking Watson, the Browns would make a trade with the Houston Texans who were more than eager to select Watson. And to the delight of the Texans, Watson appears ready to rewrite the history books for their franchise.
In preparing Watson to become a starting quarterback in the National Football League, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien had a good game plan. O’Brien was not ready to immediately commit to Watson as far as being the Texans starting quarterback as that honor fell to Tom Savage. And with Watson on the sidelines, it gave him the opportunity to observe the game. But when Savage was ineffective in the Texans Week 1 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, O’Brien could no longer delay giving Watson the keys to the franchise.
Watson would replace an ineffective Savage as he led Houston to their only touchdown drive versus the Jags. And since then Watson has not looked back.
There was plenty of excitement and anticipation for theTexans Week 2 contest versus the Cincinnati Bengals as Watson would make his first career start. Versus the Bengals, Watson was not a fantasy football stud as he was just 15-of-24 passing for 125 yards, but he helped the Texans in the most important category which was getting the victory.
Since then the game has slowed down for Watson as he is not a wide-eyed rookie on the National Football League stage. In Week 3, Watson faced the New England Patriots who are the defending Super Bowl Champions. And in that contest Watson was 22-of-33 passing for 301 yards as the Texans fell just short of getting the victory. In Week 6, Watson had the opportunity to face the team in the Browns that passed up on him twice. Watson would give the Browns a ringside seat of what they passed up on by going 17-for-29 passing for 225 yards and 3 touchdown passes as the Texans won the contest 33-17.
Last Sunday saw Watson make sure that no one in National Football League would forget his name anytime soon. Watson and the Texans would travel to the Pacific Northwest to face the Seattle Seahawks who possess the best secondary in the NFL. The Seahawks secondary features a trio of All-Pros in cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor, and free safety Earl Thomas as they have been known to make life difficult on opposing quarterbacks.
But the names on the back of the jerseys of the Seahawks secondary didn’t faze Watson who led the Texans on a touchdown drive to begin the contest which concluded when he connected on a 59-yard touchdown pass with wide receiver Will Fuller to give Houston the early 7-0 advantage. However the Seahawks secondary would soon show why they are the best in the business in regards to what they do. On the Texans next drive, Watson was picked off by Thomas who returned it 78 yards for the tying score. However Watson would be immediately shrug it off as he led the Texans right back down the field in order to regain the lead at 14-7.
All afternoon Watson dueled with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. And with just under five minutes remaining in the contest, Watson put Houston in position to win as he connected with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a 72-yard touchdown pass to give his team the lead at 38-34. After Houston stopped Seattle’s offense on their next possession, Watson and the offense could not run out the clock which resulted in them giving the football back to the Seahakws. And with just 21 seconds left in the contest, Wilson would find tight end Jimmy Graham for the game-winning score.
The Texans would fall just short of defeating the Seahawks, but when it was all said and done, Watson had gained the respect of his opponents as many of Seattle’s players congratulated him after the contest.
On the season Watson has 1,699 passing yards with 19 passing touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Watson has also managed to complete nearly 62% of his passes, which is the result of him being a cool customer in the pocket.
But just as the Texans were rallying around Watson as he also appeared to be a shoe-in to be named as the National Football League’s Rookie of the Year, the unthinkable happened this past Thursday at practice when he suffered a torn ACL which abruptly ended his stellar rookie campaign as well as the playoff hopes for Houston. And although that we won’t see Watson do anymore great things for the Texans on the field in 2017, he has still given this organization hope for the future.
Watson will now have the chance to reflect on the impact that he had on the field for the Texans this season, while also looking to get more familiarized with the Texans offense. Watson won’t be at the Texans practice facility, but he can still take it upon himself to study film as well as the team’s playbook. Watson has a personality that makes those around him gravitate towards him which is a reflection of his humility and poise and that impact will be felt for the Texans once he returns.
Now the job will be to get Watson healthy for 2018 as he along with defensive end J.J. Watt who was limited to just five games this season after he suffered a fractured leg are two of the cornerstones for this team. In a brief stretch Watson was able to give the Texans a glimpse towards the future which looks to be very bright if they’ll be able to keep their signal caller healthy and on the field.