Texans: Deshaun Watson should focus on ball control in 2020
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson doesn’t have a whole lot of weaknesses in his game, but he could stand to cut down on some of his giveaways.
There’s no denying the fact that Deshaun Watson is the most exciting aspect of the Houston Texans franchise.
The former first-round draft pick out of Clemson is still just 24 years old and has only played three seasons now in the NFL. And yet, he’s already shown plenty of promise and upside in those three years, leading many pundits, analysts, and fans around the league to consider him not only the future of the Texans franchise, but also among the best quarterbacks in the NFL overall.
As dynamic with his arm as he is with his legs, Watson has very few weaknesses to his game. He’s a proven winner who knows how to move the ball upfield and put points up on the scoreboard.
Heading into Year 4, the next step for the Texans as a franchise is to get to the conference championship game (at least). Houston remains the only squad out of all 32 NFL teams who has yet to appear in a conference championship — though, to be fair, the Texans are also the newest franchise in the league as well.
The next step for Watson? Leading them to that game and putting the team in contention for the Lamar Hunt trophy.
Deshaun Watson’s total giveaways went up from 2018 to 2019
One key area that could help both Watson and his team take it to another level would be eliminating some of the costly mistakes and giveaways that have dogged this franchise the past couple years.
Watson’s interception totals have steadily climbed each year he’s been in the league: he had eight as a rookie in just seven games of action, then had nine in 2018 across a full 16-game season, and finally had 12 last year in 15 games.
The rise in picks from 2018 to 2019 was particularly concerning, given the fact Watson threw for the same number of touchdowns in both years (26). Watson has also suffered from fumbles throughout his NFL career — he’s tallied 22 thus far (12 as a passer and 10 as a runner), though he’s only lost seven of them.
He had four multi-interception games last year — and half of them came against 2019 playoff teams.
There were 10 quarterbacks who threw more picks than Watson last year, and nine of them missed the postseason. Only the San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo threw more interceptions than Watson and still made the playoffs, and even he just barely edged Watson with 13 picks compared to Watson’s 12.
There’s no reason fans should be alarmed by Watson’s giveaway totals or the fact they’ve climbed just a bit in recent years — he’s still a young quarterback getting acclimated to the professional game.
But Watson could go a long way in silencing his critics and proving he has what it takes to help the Houston Texans make the necessary forward leap to the next level of competition by cutting down on some of these key mistakes and slashing his interception and fumble totals in 2020.