The Houston Texans are once again on the hunt for a new head coach. The calamitous Bill O’Brien era is over. Houston fired him after the team started their season 0-4. O’Brien presided over the trading of superstar Deandre Hopkins. He had sealed his fate as soon as he accepted that trade. His GM tenure was one of the worst GM tenures in the league.
Due to various trades, the Texans will not be on the clock in the 2021 draft until the third round. That is an awful position to be in for a team that will be rebuilding. However, there is one jewel in the Texans’ rusty crown. That jewel is superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson.
From 2017 to 2019, Watson played incredibly well. The world knew he was special. As a rookie, Watson went to New England and defeated them. Last year he led a dramatic comeback to take the Texans to a win over Buffalo in the wildcard round. With some of those highlights on his resume, we knew Watson was special. He has got even better this year.
In every metric, Watson is excelling. Through 12 weeks, his completion percentage of 68.9 is the highest in his career. The five interceptions he has thrown is also the lowest of his career. And his yards gained per pass attempt is 8.8. That is .5 points higher than his next best. 74.2 is Watson’s best QBR rating over the last three years, plus Watson has achieved all of the above without his superstar wideout. Most quarterback’s numbers go up with an elite receiver. His numbers have rocketed up without an elite number one pass-catcher on the roster. That is an incredible feat.
But it is not just the numbers. When you watch Watson play, it is clear he is playing at an MVP level. The way he manipulates the pocket is staggering. Watson can slide left or right. He can step up or dropback, and he possesses the ability to move the pocket on designed rollouts. His footwork is impeccable.
One of the few flaws Watson has is that he holds onto the ball for too long. Carson Wentz does that also, however, unlike Wentz, Watson has supreme footwork. He glides and slides like he is out of a Matrix movie. When you watch Watson in the pocket, everything seems to be in slow motion.
If footwork is the foundation for excellent quarterback play, then the arm and eyes are the first and second story. Watson has phenomenal timing on his throws. Nobody would say he has the cannon arm of a Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen; nevertheless, Watson’s timing allows him to rifle the ball in tight windows. There were countless times on Thanksgiving against Detroit where Watson was able to fit the ball in between two defenders. Those throws are coverage killers.
If a quarterback can throw a line drive onto his player’s back shoulder, the defenses are in trouble. Watson’s extraordinary footwork gives him the ability to time his throws to the exact step. It is a skill all great quarterbacks have had. Rodgers, Manning, Brady, etc. all had the same ability. The Hall of Fame awaits those players. Watson has all the ability to do the same.
There are problems in Houston, but in Watson, the franchise has the key to blast off. Now they need to find the right man.