NFL 2020: Are the Houston Texans wasting Deshaun Watson's immense talent?
Another week. Another loss for the Houston Texans. And another wasted effort by quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson, the former Clemson star and 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, was immediately considered the messiah of the franchise when he took his talents to the Lone Star State just a few years ago.
Individually, he hasn't disappointed. He's quickly developed into one of the most talented team leaders in the entire league.
Already a two-time Pro Bowler in his young career, Watson has become an icon in the City of Oil. His electric arm and educated feet have provided Texans fans with plenty of thrills.
However, for all the reels of highlight film that Watson has already produced, there's one thing that has eluded him: postseason success.
Since his arrival in Houston, the mega-talented QB has competed in just three playoff games, compiling a 1-2 record. And even when the Texans have made it to the playoffs, they've never been considered a true threat to win the Super Bowl.
2020 has been rock-bottom for Deshaun Watson's Texans
Which brings us to 2020.
Now sitting at 1-6, Houston is already on the brink of missing the playoffs and wasting yet another season of Watson's career. They were dominated on Sunday by the Green Bay Packers, who jumped out to a quick 14-point lead before finishing things off, 35-20.
Deshaun Watson did his best, going 29 of 39 for 309 yards and two touchdowns through the air. But it was all for naught. He would be left standing on the sidelines as the clock wound down, hands on his hips and trying to figure out what went wrong. Just like many of the outstanding games he's had in a Houston uniform.
In the aftermath of another disastrous defeat, both Deshaun Watson and star defensive lineman J.J. Watt expressed their frustration over the team's play:
Poor offensive line play has plagued the Texans throughout Watson's tenure there. He's basically been running for his life when he drops back to pass. He's been sacked 22 times this season, tied for third-most in the NFL.
This season seemed doomed from the beginning. Texans coach/GM Bill O'Brien surprisingly traded star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason, taking away Deshaun Watson's most reliable target. O'Brien was fired after the team started 0-4.
Now the Texans appear to be in rebuilding mode, which is something you typically don't want to do while your franchise QB is in his prime and recently signed a four-year, $177.5 million contract. The Texans should be competing for an AFC title, not stumbling while trying to figure out their next steps.
Houston lacks the weapons on offense to complement Deshaun Watson's talents, and they are soft on defense despite Watt's presence. Those elements combined have them routinely playing from behind, and Watson only has so much comeback magic in him.
The Texans have an all-star performer under center, but they lack the components of a true contender. And it's a shame, because they are wasting a once-a-lifetime skill player.
Deshaun Watson should be mentioned in the same category as MVPs like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. But unfortunately, he's been mired in mediocrity due to poor coaching and front office decisions.
That failure shouldn't fall on the shoulders of Deshaun Watson. It's the fault of a franchise that has failed to surround him with a roster that can accentuate his ample assets.
Despite all his physical blessings, Deshaun Watson can't block for himself, play running back, or be the coach of his team. He can't make personnel decisions (like the AWFUL one that sent Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals). All he can do is line up under center, and pray that he can make another miracle happen.
At just 25 years old, Deshaun Watson still has plenty of time to get his share of Super Bowl rings, and to be the savior of his franchise.
The question is: Will the Texans provide him the help he needs to get to the Promised Land?