For so many days I’ve attempted to live bright and strong as I waited for these numbers to be released. During the 2018 season as Deshaun Watson ducked and dipped and dived and dodged sack attempts and fluttered outside the pocket to run past the chains and flip passes downfield, I wondered, oh how I wondered, what his DVOA was with and without pressure. Today is that day.
Watson was pressured on 41.1% of his dropbacks, the most in football, had a DVOA of -27.4% with pressure which was 5th behind Patrick Mahomes, Jameis Winston, Mitchell Trubisky, and Philip Rivers, and had a DVOA of 56.2% without pressure which was 13th. The pressure numbers are great. The without pressure numbers aren’t. Pro Football Focus has pushed this idea that what quarterbacks do without pressure if far more important than what they do with it, and what they do without pressure is more valuable when evaluating quarterbacks. This I don’t know, but you’d want Watson to be better without pressure.
This is what Football Outsiders has to say about Watson:
“Two seasons don’t necessarily make a trend, but Deshaun Watson has taken a couple of steps down the path Russell Wilson has followed his entire career. Wilson has been one of the five most pressured quarterbacks all seven of his NFL seasons, and he has finished in the top 10 in DVOA with pressure in six of them.
The salary cap limits teams’ resources and effectively requires them to sacrifice the quality of some position groups. That’s especially true when teams sign a quarterback after his rookie deal. As much as it violates conventional wisdom, Wilson’s and Watson’s specific strengths and weaknesses make their offensive lines natural choices for their teams to neglect in favor of skill-position and defensive talent. Watson’s freshman and sophomore seasons suggest the Texans are following that blueprint. They’ll just have to hope that Watson also shares Wilson’s preternatural ability to avoid hits and major injuries. Watson has endured a handful of injuries in his college and pro careers to date, but the bulk of his missed time has stemmed from a pair of non-contact ACL tears suffered in practices that don’t necessarily portend future injuries.”
It’s perfect. People do forget the importance of having a team that’s great at certain things can ignore other aspects of the game since the strengths overlap with the complementing weakness. With the salary cap teams can’t be great at everything. The key is to limit investment on what they don’t need to. If you try to fill every hole, without being great at anything, you end up being mediocre like the Tennessee Titans.
The interesting thing here regarding the Wilson comparison, is Seattle stuck with using spare parts to compose their offensive line so they could pay and keep their all time great defense together and kept Wilson playing under pressure and outside the pocket. Houston seems to be doing the opposite by selecting Max Scharping and Tytus Howard, hiring Carl Smith, and Bill O’Brien’s play calling.
Anyways, I’m just happy to finally have these out here. We are just another day closer to the preseason and season preview season.