Though it could be, this post is not a cautionary tale of how playing prevent defense mostly prevents a team from winning a game. It could be a post that ponders whether Alvin Kamara and his buddies would average about 7 yards a carry if a certain DE/LB hybrid named Jadeveon Clowney, who is a fine run stuffer, was still with the Texans defense. It also could be a post that wonders if Clowney patrolling the defense for the Seattle Seahawks has anything to do with JJ Watt having the same defensive stats (0 Tackles,0 TFLs,0 Assists, 0 QB hits, 0 Sacks, 0 FF, 0 FR - you get the idea), that I have after the first game. No, this post will discuss how a certain young QB's performance underlines why the team always has a chance when he is on the field.
The one thing the experts hit on over and over again about the Texans heading into the 2019 season was that the difficulty of the schedule was going to be increased due to all the high end QBs they were going to face. The one thing most experts did not accentuate was that the other teams were going to be facing a high end QB, the still developing Deshaun Watson.
The last thing that crossed a Texans' fans mind when they got the ball back with 50 seconds left and a 6 point deficit was that they would score too quickly. After 17 seasons of watching the likes of David Carr, Brock Osweiler, and Brian Hoyer at the helm, the fans were used to abject failure in these type of situations. Matty Schaub? OK, Schaub before he was tossing pick 6's might have moved them in 50 seconds to within Hail Mary territory. But who would blame us if we thought that as good as Watson has been that 75 yards in 50 seconds was too much too ask. Two plays, 13 seconds and 75 yards later the Texans had flipped a 27-21 deficit into a 27-27 tie and with the help of a marginal penalty a 28-27 lead. As it turned out, 37 seconds was 2 seconds too many to allow Drew Brees and his teammates.
Still, the brilliance of that last gasp drive with two laser passes in the perfect spots to DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Still was exhilarating and contained all the promise of why this young man excites us all.
This was as tough a venue as one could choose for an opening night. On the road? Check. Tough team? Check. Loud stadium? Check. Fans ready to cheer lungs out after having a Super Bowl trip stolen from them? Double check. Watson struggled a bit early, but once he hit his stride (the great catch by Will Fuller on a 54 yd bomb seemed to trigger him) he was a first down and touchdown machine.
Watson scored on a 21 yard run with a successful Rosencoptor finish. He surgically cut up the Saints defense for the other 2 touchdowns as he seemed to complete one 3rd and long after another with ease. In the end he was 20 for 30 for 268 yds and 3 TDs while running 4 times for 40 yds and a TD.
Mistakes? Like his opponent across the way he threw one costly interception that helped light the fire of the Saints. Unlike Brees who was sacked only once, Watson was sacked an unacceptable 6 times. And it does not matter if some were on him and some were on the line, both parties have to do something to improve on that number.
And that is because..........Deshaun Watson is the present and future of this organization. Protecting him has to be Job 1 through Job 10. He gives us hope and we know that without him this team would be the opposite of that.
Watching the Astros, Yordan Alvarez is must-see TV. Watching the Texans, Deshaun Watson is the same and more.