The NFL jersey sales numbers are in. Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson comes in at 20th on the list. Watson’s jersey sold the second-best among NFL rookies. Only Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster sold more than him. Smith-Schuster finished 18th overall. The notable difference between the two is that Watson only appeared in seven games compared to a deep playoff run.
Watson started six games for the Texans and finished with a record of 3-3. During his shortened rookie campaign Watson completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1699 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Watson also added 269 yards and two touchdowns on the ground on 36 rushing attempts. The ability to be just as dangerous on the ground as he is through the air makes him one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.
The utilization of Watson’s strengths as a passer and runner were perfect. Head coach Bill O’Brien was even able to get around the absence of Duane Brown to make Watson productive. Creative blocking schemes and rollouts kept Watson upright and allowed him to make plays.
Watson’s seasons came to an abrupt end after suffering an ACL tear in practice. The Texans only managed to win one more game after Watson went down. This shows just how valuable Watson is. The team went from playoff hopeful to basement of the division with his removal from the lineup. Part of the blame however belongs squarely on the shoulders of Tom Savage. Savage was simply ineffective during his team as the Houston starter. As a result of the Savage’s poor play the team sputtered to a disappointing 4-12 record.
The rehab process is reportedly going well for Watson. This is good news for the Texans. As the season came to an anticlimactic end, optimism for next season grew. As long as Watson is able to heal properly the Texans should have a good season in 2018. At least that is the hope in Houston.