The Houston Texans would love to make life miserable for Deshaun Watson on Sunday
By Skyler Smith
If the Texans only win one more game all year, I’m sure they would want to win this week when former franchise QB Deshaun Watson returns to Houston to play his first game as a member of the Cleveland Browns and also his first game played in almost 2 full seasons. We all know what’s went on regarding Watson with his off the field issues, so I won’t even dive into that in this article.
Deshaun Watson is the ex-girlfriend that wants to show her ex-boyfriend (which would be the Texans) just how much better life is now that they moved on, and the Texans want to show Watson that they are doing just fine without her. There’s one issue with that though, and it’s that the Texans do in fact miss Watson (on the field). The Texans went 4-13 last year when Deshaun Watson held out the whole season after requesting a trade, and so far this year they are 1-9-1 and are already looking forward to the draft season.
Don’t get me wrong, the Texans have definitely benefited from dealing Watson to Cleveland; but he also left them during a time when Houston needed him the most. The Texans were perennial playoff contenders and had won the AFC South a few times with Watson under center. When the roster faltered under HC/GM Bill O’Brien (still can’t believe he had both roles), Watson took the easy way out and requested a trade instead of trying to build a future in Houston; which is where a lot of the resentment comes from for Texans fans.
Deshaun Watson had said most of the right things all the way up until the 2020 season, when Houston would severely under perform and only win 4 games. But honestly, it all started after the infamous playoff game in 2019 against the Kansas City Chiefs. I know most people know what happened. If you don’t know, the Texans went up 24-0 on the Chiefs in the AFC Divisonal Round before blowing the 24 point lead and getting blown out 51-31. The Texans weren’t the same after that game.
Going back to the present, I expect Houston to start this game with some fire. Texans players and staff will say all week that “it’s just another game”. It’s completely not true, this game means a ton to everyone in the Texans organization. They would love to absolutely destroy Watson and make his day a nightmare.
In all honesty though, I think the Texans get a heavy dose of Nick Chubb more so than having Deshaun Watson sling it around the field. It’s the right call, considering Houston is the NFL’s worst run defense by a country mile. With how long it’s been since Watson has played, I would expect him to be a bit rusty as well and look for Kevin Stefanski to try and get Watson going with some quick passes and play action passes. I also do expect Texans fans to heckle Watson all day long, which will be interesting to see how he handles the criticism, especially since he hasn’t been in this situation before; and hasn’t thrown an NFL regular season pass in over 700 days.
If this was a normal game, I think the stadium would be pretty empty. The 2 teams have 5 wins combined through 22 total games. Even though Texans fans are considered to be faithful, the interest naturally declines when a team is losing. But this story line is one of the biggest ones in the NFL this season and one that everyone has had circled on the calendar ever since it was announced that Watson would be suspended the first 11 games of the season due to a violation of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
So I would like to think that I speak for all Texans fans when I say this (and honestly probably most NFL fans in general). I wouldn’t mind seeing Deshaun Watson throw a pick 6 on Sunday; or maybe even three or four of them.