Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson’s rookie season review
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had a historic seven games for a rookie quarterback in the NFL in 2017.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson broke the common stereotype that rookie quarterbacks couldn’t have success so early in their career. Watson wasn’t even the first quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL Draft after finishing his football career with the Clemson Tigers as national champions and finishing 32-3 as a starter.
Watson was selected 12th overall after Mitchell Trubisky was taken third overall by the Chicago Bears and Pat Mahomes II was drafted 10th overall in ’17 by the Kansas City Chiefs.
For whatever reason, Watson was viewed as a lesser prospect despite the fact that he had faced bigger college football programs and competed in bigger games that the other quarterback prospects had never even been in.
Despite those small setbacks, Watson went out and had a season for the ages. In six games as a starter, he revolutionized the Texans offense. Watson had arguably the best season that a Texans quarterback had ever displayed and even impressive in his first season in the NFL.
His NFL debut was average as he came in the second half to try to move a catatonic offense down the field. He ended the game with 102 passing yards, 16 yards rushing, a touchdown pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and an interception.
Watson’s next six games as a starter were far from average. Watson ran for two touchdowns, passed for 18 touchdowns and only threw seven interceptions. In those six games as a starter, he burned the defenses over the air for 1,597 yards and rushed for 253 yards.
The most impressive feat for Watson was how successful he was in distributing the football to his receivers. With Watson under center, both Hopkins and Fuller had seven touchdowns, Lamar Miller had two scores, and Bruce Ellington, Ryan Griffin and Braxton Miller each had a touchdown.
Without Watson at quarterback, Hopkins, Ellington and Miller were the only three targets who ended catching the football in the end zone during the remaining nine games of the regular season. Hopkins had six more touchdown receptions meanwhile Miller and Ellington managed to snag just one more touchdown. With Watson returning back healthy in 2018, the Texans will have a balanced offense with the ability to continue to put up video game numbers in his second season.