I’m sick of Deshaun Watson getting hit. Besides its negative effect of ruining drives by backing the offense up, the accumulations of hits can lead to injuries that’ll shorten Watson’s career. We’ve already seen Andrew Luck cut his career short due to injury, and at this rate, it wouldn't surprise me if Watson retires early as well.
Watson has been officially sacked ten times in the first two games of the 2019 season. That is an egregious amount, especially considering the investment the Texans have put into their offensive line. With so many quarterback hits and sacks, it’s time to start pointing the finger and getting a sense of who is the biggest culprit for the sacks.
We’ll do this each week of the season and continue to tally up the blame for each sack. This will cover two games since it is the first two games.
Sack #1: Senio Kelemete is too slow to react to the Saints’ blitz.
With every player standing up at the snap, the Texans’ offensive line had zero idea who would be rushing on 3rd and 15. That’s like a baseball hitter swinging at a 3-0 count; you know he’s going for the fences. The Saints execute a “stunt,” which means that Cam Jordan started on the outside and swept inside replacing the interior defender who is trying to occupy as many offensive lineman as possible. Clearly it worked pretty well here.
Sack #2: Seantrel Henderson doesn't rotate.
When the Saints brought an outside edge rusher on a delayed blitz, Henderson was already engaged with the defensive end. Locked in, he was unable to see that another pass rusher was coming on the outside. With Zach Fulton not blocking anyone, this defender had a free and clear shot at Watson. Watson made him miss, but in due time DW4 was brought down as the pocket collapsed.
Sack #3: Laremy Tunsil doesn't hear the call.
Chalk this one up to the new guy not understanding the call at the line of scrimmage. On this play, Watson and center Nick Martin clearly see the blitz and call out the linebacker. Tunsil is talking to guard Zach Fulton while the center and quarterback are barking out orders, and of course this blown assignment leads to Watson being swallowed up.
Sack #4: Seantrel Henderson gets bullied.
Even with a double team, Henderson cannot handle the pressure from the defensive end. The combination of lack of leverage, poor hands, and terrible balance condemn Henderson to a terrible rep at right tackle.
Sack #5: Watson scrambles into a sack.
He had effectively evaded the bull rush by the Saints’ defensive front, but he was too hesitant to cross the line of scrimmage, and it cost him.
On first and 10, Watson has the room, speed, and angle to safely get out of bounds while gaining a couple of yards in the process. This was the first of a three-play series that went sack-run stuff-sack. Watson has to be more aware of his surroundings.
Sack #6: Laremy Tunsil gets blown past.
This is almost unbearable to watch considering the investment we made in Tunsil. He overextends his upper body, leaving his feet behind him. Against a speed rush, Tunsil has already written the script for this play before Watson caneven look down the field. Henderson looked like he had a jet pack strapped to his back when he blew past Laremy Tunsil on what was then the biggest play of the game.
Sack #7: Roderick Johnson guesses wrong and Watson pays for it.
The first sack of the Jaguars game was pretty blatant. Nothing is worse than not making a decision. At least block someone. Anyone. When Johnson gets confused by the pass rush, he completely blows his job and lets Myles Jack have a free shot at Watson.
Sack #8: Zach Fulton doesn’t recognize the blitz.
This is another example of the Texans’ front not absorbing the pressure. This is the problem for offensive coordinators today: They don’t know who is coming on a blitz. The Texans guess wrong here and they hang Fulton out to dry. This could be chalked up to Watson not reading the defense as well, but Fulton has to, and I mean has to, see this coming.
I’m not going to count Watson’s miscues on two other snaps as true sacks. I guess the NFL and fantasy football will, but for our sake we will look past those. With that in mind, here’s the current blame tally:
Seantrel Henderson: 2
Laremy Tunsil: 2
Deshaun Watson: 1
Roderick Johnson: 1
Zach Fulton: 1
Senio Kelemete: 1
Tytus Howard and Nick Martin are the only ones with a clean slate thus far. Not that either of those guys have been impervious to some horrid blocking, but at least neither are the reason why Watson is flat on his back with the ball in his hand. I’d have to say the leading culprit is Henderson thus far, which is why he was benched for Roderick Johnson.
This week, the Chargers really only have Melvin Ingram and Nick Bosa to worry about, but that duo will probably record three sacks against Houston’s offensive line.