Preseason Week 3 and 4
I’m finally back to cover the progression (being very modest today) of Deshaun Watson with the Houston Texans, after recovering from the relentless rage of Hurricane Harvey. Although I am currently in Austin, Texas attending school, my family and many of my hometown friends live in the Houston area. Trust me, CNN doesn’t do the travesty in Houston justice. Houston Texan JJ Watt has been running a historic charitable campaign to raise money for those most impacted by Hurricane Harvey. If you have any spare change, please consider donating to JJ Watt’s charity:
One week ago the goal was $200k
We just passed $18.5 MILLION.
Your generosity knows no bounds. Thank you. https://t.co/SR6DmnNbyM
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 4, 2017
In other news: another disaster has hit Houston, and its name is probably unknown to the average American. Wildfire Watson has struck the Houston Texans franchise. As the coaches suppress the hellfires of Deshaun Watson to the bench to start off the season, Texans fans are left wondering if their beloved franchise just signed a deal with the devil. Will this young first round quarterback keep the youngest franchise in the NFL under the smoke of mediocrity? Only time will tell.
Watson Sucks In New Orleans
The title says it all. Not only did Deshaun Watson not improve, but his comfortability in the offense seemed to regress against one of the least talented defenses in the league.
More Bad Throws
Let’s start with his well known issue: his mechanics. Of his 10 incompletions, I counted 3 bad throws. Two of these throws led to drops, and the other sailed over the head of his receiver and was intercepted. What is scariest about Watson’s throwing blunders: these were all short passes. None of his attempted passes were particularly difficult. In fact, I don’t remember seeing a pass beyond ten yards from the line of scrimmage. To keep it simple, I’ll refer back to the title of this section: his mechanics just suck.
Add In Mental Lapses
The box score doesn’t even tell you how bad he was. We already talked about the interception, but we also need to mention his mental lapses in the game. 2 of his 10 incompletions were dropped interceptions. One pick was a flat out bad read where Watson threw the ball straight at the defender. The other was when Watson decided to fling the ball to the heavens over the middle of the field while he was under duress. Luckily, the pick was dropped. He put himself before his team with these two throws, which is why guys like DeAndre Hopkins prefer Tom Savage over him.
Watson also had two more mental lapses. On one occasion, he failed to recognize the coming blitz off the left side, and adjust the pass protection accordingly. This led to an unblocked sack. On another occasion, Watson was sacked because of his failure to get rid of the ball on what was obviously a quick pass-schemed play. He held onto the ball too long, and was eaten alive by blitzers.
The Few Flashes
Now, things weren’t all bad I guess. His pocket presence still had a hint of magic every now and then, and he still made some unorthodox throws. Escaping the pocket, he rolled out left and threw behind his body only for the pass to be dropped by his receiver. He also made a fantastic throw while being taken down by a defensive lineman. Watson flashes best with these unscripted plays, but his blunders within the scheme far outweigh any magic he can muster outside of it.
In the end, Deshaun Watson has been terrible. Without a doubt, he has been the worst of the top four rookie quarterbacks. He looks the least talented, the least prepared, and the furthest from being deserving of a starting position. Let me put it into perspective for you:
Let’s take a look at my adjusted stats for Deshaun Watson against the Saints:
Adjusted Preseason Week 3 Stats: Deshaun Watson
12 of 21, 126 yards, 0 Tds, 3 INTs, 35.1 Passer Rating
Yes, a 35.1 Passer Rating. That’s out of 158.3 if you didn’t know.
Now, let’s look at his full preseason stats:
Adjusted Preseason Stats (Week 4 Canceled): Deshaun Watson
30 of 56, 53.6% Completion, 344 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 50.0 Passer Rating
44 Rushing Yards, 2 Rushing TDs, 12 inaccurate passes (23% Inaccuracy Rate)
Sure you can argue that the two rushing TDs could be calculated as passing TDs, but that would still only yield a passer rating of 61.9. That’s still awful. The scariest stat by far is that he was inaccurate on 23% of his passes in the preseason. Even if he could play within Bill O’Brien’s scheme, his mechanical issues will still be in his way until they are fixed.
2017 Regular Season For Deshaun
I never thought this would be the case, but Deshaun Watson has the worst chance of starting in 2017 between him, Mahomes, Kizer, and Trubisky. The Bears will probably be bad, and HC John Fox will quickly be forced to see what he has in his young 2nd Overall Pick. Kizer has already earned his starting role, leaving Mahomes as the least likely to start of those three. Tyreek Hill is their only weapon at receiver, and Alex Smith’s arm isn’t enough to get it down field. My guess: the Chiefs struggle to run the ball, TE Travis Kelce see’s a lot of double coverage, and the Chiefs will be stalemated on offense. In comes Mahomes who brings a true deep dimension to this often dimensionless offense.
Let’s face facts Texans’ fans. Watson isn’t ready to start. He is on the most well rounded team of these four rookie quarterbacks. Tom Savage simply fits what the Texans need right now at quarterback: a dink and dunk quarterback who doesn’t turn the ball over and can play within Bill’s stupid system.
So far, Wildfire Watson has threatened the future of the Houston franchise, but a year on the bench and working on his mechanics may be just put the heat on their opponents in the future.
Past Episodes of Wats-Going-On With Deshaun?
Episode 1: Preseason Week 1
Episode 2: Preseason Week 2