On a holiday that sees many people stuffing themselves with food and deserts, Deshaun Watson was feasting on the Lions’ defense. 318 yards passing, 4 touchdowns, and a dominant victory, Deshaun Watson looked like the quarterback that we all know he can be.
Deshaun Watson has been pretty exceptional this season, entering this matchup with 2,883 yards and 20 touchdowns passing this season. His five interceptions all came in the first five games of the season, with only one fumble to his name since then. He has taken a team that started the season 0-5 to 4-7 and just to the outside of the playoff bubble.
Many people have noted that, if it were not for the team’s terrible defense and losing record, Deshaun Watson would be not only an MVP contender but a favorite to win the award. However, I would argue that, despite Houston’s current record, Watson could easily end the season as the MVP candidate.
Firstly, Watson’s play speaks for itself: sixth-most passing yards, tied for ninth-most passing touchdowns, sixth-highest passer rating, second-highest yards per pass attempt, sixth-highest completion percentage, eighth-lowest interception percentage. Watson is elite and deserves to be at the table with the other high profile quarterbacks in the league.
Watson’s record may be the only major strike against him as an MVP candidate, and even that may serve more to Watson’s favor than to his detriment. At 4-7, the Texans can still put together a winning season, and with some help, maybe even put together a wildcard campaign. If the Texans were to finish the season with a 9-7 record, they would have to beat Indianapolis (twice), Chicago, Cincinnati, and Tennessee. An onslaught of brutal defenses with playoff ambitions (and Cincinnati) will serve to challenge Watson and company, and with victories over all of those opponents, both the Texans’ and Watson’s reputation in the league should be amplified and unquestionable.
He has also done all of this with one of the weakest rosters in the league. Compare this to other MVP candidates: Russell Wilson has Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Kyler Murray has Deandre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, Patrick Mahomes has Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Le’veon Bell.
If Watson can finish the season strong and finish the season with a .500 or above record, Deshaun Watson deserves mentions in the conversation surrounding the MVP.