Houston Texans: Time to add Deshaun Watson to top QB list in NFL

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 26: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans scrambles past Derrick Morgan #91 of the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on November 26, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 26: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans scrambles past Derrick Morgan #91 of the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on November 26, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

It is now time for everyone to add Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson to the conversation when talking about the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

It is very easy to see that the Houston Texans have a special player in quarterback Deshaun Watson this season. Though it took him a couple of games earlier in the season to find his groove — and to get used to throwing under pressure — Watson has worked his way into being a very dangerous player for the Texans to have on their side.

Even more than that, it is time for everyone to say the name “Deshaun Watson” when talking about the best of the best when it comes to overall top quarterbacks currently in the NFL. Watson is not only a part of the future of NFL quarterback play, but he’s quickly become a part of the present as well.

Playing behind a suspect offensive line with him being sacked 37 times this season, Watson has grinned and taken the punishment of the opposing defense, stood up, dusted himself off and has helped lead the Texans to eight straight wins.

Not only that, but the Texans starting quarterback has done so with injuries at wide receiver, and he had to get used to playing at the NFL level this season after suffering a season-ending ACL tear last lead after just seven games.

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Since Watson has overcome the ACL issue and the loss of starting wide receiver Will Fuller, the Texans quarterback has been a part of a “dynamic duo” of sorts with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, as they are one of the best quarterback-to-wide receiver combos in the entire NFL.

Watson has completed 66.1 percent of his passes this season and has thrown for 2,807 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 11 games. When running with the football, Watson has 62 carries for 345 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

Those are impressive numbers, especially the touchdown to interceptions, considering Watson has been sacked three or more times in a game on eight occasions this year, including twice being sacked seven times in a game. Even in the two games where Watson has been sacked seven times, the Texans have managed to win the game.

In the ESPN Total Quarterback Rating, Watson sits at 17th overall with a QB Rating of 59.8. It is tough to sit here and agree with the computer ranking of Watson. There is no way many will be convinced that Watson is ranked lower than Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who is 16th on the list, or Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is 11th overall, when it comes to choosing one of the three to be a quarterback to build a team around.

Heck, Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers is eighth on their rating list, and he and Fitzpatrick keep taking turns being benched in Tampa Bay. Take away the ESPN rating, and just watching the overall game and excitement that Watson brings to the Texans offense helps keep this team moving along, proves more than a stat sheet ever can.

If the ESPN rating system isn’t your cup of tea, Pro Football Focus has Watson graded as the 15th best quarterback overall with an overall grade of 79.3 for the season through 12 weeks. Again, Watson has helped bring results to his franchise — with the help of defense and solid offensive teammates of course — but he also improves those around him, too.

Watson isn’t at the elite level of say Tom Brady or Drew Brees just yet, but after 18 career NFL games, he’s earned the right to be in the conversation of the Top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. His numbers might not be as page-jumping as Aaron Rodgers, or he might not have the national spotlight of Patrick Mahomes, but don’t forget about Watson as time moves forward in his career.

Watson and the Texans face the Cleveland Browns for their Week 13 game in Houston, and when he opposes rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, don’t be surprised five years from now when they will be the names that are mentioned near the very top of the “best quarterback in the NFL” conversation.

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