Texans respond to losses on D with Watson TDs

Sunday, 15 October 2017 14:24 Written by  Read 33 times
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play 1:31 Watson, Texans drop Browns to 0-6

Deshaun Watson throws for 225 yards and three touchdowns in the Texans' 33-17 victory over the Browns.

HOUSTON -- After the Houston Texans lost star DE J.J. Watt for the season, coach Bill O’Brien pointed out that regardless of what happens on defense, the team will always be in games this season because of rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The defense didn’t need rescuing on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, but Watson continued to put points on the board, throwing three touchdown passes in the Texans’ 33-17 victory.

Watson’s 15 passing touchdowns are the most by a rookie quarterback through six games since the NFL-AFL merger, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Last season, Texans quarterbacks Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage threw a combined 15 touchdown passes in 16 games.

Watson was 17-of-29 for 225 yards, with the three TDs and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He had a passer rating of 103.4. Watson spread the ball around; no receiver had more than three catches. Wide receiver Will Fuller led the Texans with two catches for 62 yards, but he also dropped a long pass from Watson midway through the fourth quarter.

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Watson’s first touchdown came near the end of the first quarter when he found Fuller down the right sideline. The speedy receiver was wide open, and caught his fifth touchdown in three games. Watson now has four passing touchdowns of at least 20 air yards, the most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Watson’s second touchdown was a shovel pass to wide receiver Braxton Miller, who flipped into the end zone for the score. Miller was active for the first time since Week 3 after he was a healthy scratch for two consecutive games. Watson later found DeAndre Hopkins, who had two catches for 19 yards, in the end zone for a 3-yard score in the third quarter.

The Texans have simply never had a rookie quarterback as productive as Watson. Prior to Watson, Houston’s rookie quarterbacks had 12 touchdown passes combined between David Carr (nine) and T.J. Yates (three).

The Texans sit at 3-3 heading into their bye week, but Watson and the offense have shown that they can consistently put up points. With help from a pick-six by Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph and a safety, the Texans set a franchise record with 30 or more points in four straight games.

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