Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson showed toughness, leadership in 2018

Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 - (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 - (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson built on his rookie season, finished the entire season on the field and showed great toughness in 2018.

The 2018 season of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was one of great learning as he had played in only seven games the previous season, but one of great toughness because he overcame a suspect offensive line which allowed too many QB hits, pressures and sacks.

During his rookie season of 2017, Watson played in just seven games after tearing his ACL in practice. After having a great recovery period, Watson was able to play in Week 1, and even after being sacked 62 times in ’18 (3.82 times per game), while also dealing with a bruised chest and lung midway through the season, Watson played and started all 16 games this past season.

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If that doesn’t show just how dedicated he is to not only his craft of being a top NFL quarterback, but to the team and franchise itself, nothing will. Not many quarterbacks will play with some of the injuries he has this past season, and not only that, but play at the level he had to play, with not only gaining yards with his passes, but he ran the football as well.

The game where the chest and lung injury was the worst was against the Buffalo Bills where Watson rode a bus to Buffalo instead of flying to the game with his teammates due to the nature of his injury.

Looking back at that game — a 20-13 victory in Week 6 — it ended up being very important because that win was one of the 11 that helped the Texans win the AFC South title. Who knows – if Watson missed that game, the Texans may not have won the division and the whole look of the remainder of the season could have changed. Don’t forget, Watson was sacked seven times in that game as well, and sadly that was the second time that had happened in 2018. Also in the ’18 season, Watson was sacked six times against the New York Jets.

Watson didn’t light up the scoreboard in the win at Buffalo (15-of-25 for one touchdown, two interceptions), but his presence on the field showed right then and there just what type of leader he is, and not only that, but that his physical and mental toughness is off the charts.

This season — his first full season as the Texans quarterback — Watson finished with 4,165 yards passing (345-for-505) with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. That is with having one of the, if not the best wide receiver in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins, but also not having a top wide receiver in Will Fuller for a full season, plus seeing Demaryius Thomas be injured a few weeks after trading for him as well.

Watson will one day be in the Top 5 of NFL quarterbacks, but right now he’s still the perfect quarterback for the Texans to have because there is so much untapped potential with Watson, and he’s only going to get better with time. Watson has shown strides of his ability to be a top quarterback in the NFL, and before we know it he’ll have the Texans right back in the playoffs with most likely more success.

As the Texans continue to build around Watson and the offensive line gains the needed players, think of how much pass protection he’ll have in the future, plus think of what he’ll be able to do with his running game as well. With not having the best offensive line play this season, Watson was still able to rush for 551 yards on 99 carries with five touchdowns.

This offseason will be of great importance for the Texans to see which players are drafted, re-signed and brought in with free agency to build around their franchise quarterback.

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There’s one thing the Texans do know, and that is they are set at starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, as they have a quarterback with great toughness and even greater leadership skills.