I’ve waited all offseason for this moment. During Deshaun Watson’s spellbinding run of Bengals-battling, Titans-outrunning, Seahawks-evading wizardry, I wanted to know exactly what his DVOA was with a clean pocket and with a muddy pocket. Yesterday, Football Outsiders released their data set on quarterbacks’ DVOA with and without pressure. Man, it is something.
Last season the Texans had a pressure rate of 36.9%, which was last in the NFL. Watson was pressured on 41.9% of his dropbacks, the highest rate in the league. The average pressure rate last season was 31.6%. When DW4 was under pressure, he had a great DVOA of -36.0%, which ranked 10th. This isn’t the really special part. This is the amazing part: Without pressure, Watson had a DVOA of 99.3%, the best in the entire league.
This isn’t my work. Here is what Scott Kacsmar had to say about Deshaun Watson:
Another young quarterback who entertained us last season was Deshaun Watson in Houston. His rookie season was sadly cut short by a torn ACL, but Watson’s 99.3% DVOA without pressure is the highest season by any quarterback since 2010. His pressure rate (41.9 percent) was also the highest in our database, so if the Texans can protect him better so that he plays a full season in 2018, then the potential is sky-high. Watson is likely a quarterback who will hold the ball longer to make big plays and wrack up some pressure on his own, but with that kind of DVOA when he was kept clean, this should be one of the most anticipated sophomore seasons in NFL history.