Deshaun Watson is a gosh dang superhero and it’s about time everybody on the planet understands this fact. The man is among the most-sacked quarterbacks in the NFL, but continues to be a badass in virtually every other way.
Watson can make any throw. He knows exactly when to run the ball. He’s got the speed to break a defense. His ability to make a play in the face of his offensive line crumbling is incredible and unmatched.
That ability was on show in Week 8 against the Raiders.
Watson’s heroics, in one play
Watson has had many plays that are simply mind-blowing. One such play occurred when the Texans trailed the Raiders by four points with under seven minute to go in the fourth quarter. Watson dropped back, avoided a sack, showed that he has better balance than every single person reading this article, got kicked in the damn face, and then threw a touchdown.
GOOD LORD. Look at that! I’m not going to say that Watson does this every play, but he sure as heck is good for some equally stupefying magic at least once a game, and often more.
In case you’re unsure, here are several reasons why that play is impressive.
1. That balance
How many quarterbacks are able to stay on their feet after getting that close to the ground? You can probably count them on one hand. But not only did he maintain his balance, he never stopped concentrating on trying to find something downfield.
2. HE GOT KICKED IN THE FACE
It wasn’t obvious at full speed, but upon replay, you can clearly see him taking a foot through his facemask and into his face. We’d find out soon after the play that he took a hit to the eye, which was swollen postgame.
3. Dude wasn’t even LOOKING
Patrick Mahomes, eat your heart out, Watson can make a no-look touchdown too. Only he didn’t intentionally throw a no-looker. Watson literally couldn’t see.
“I kind of threw it blind ... I kind of assumed where he was going, kinda adjusted, let my arm guide it. I didn’t even see the play ‘til after the game,” Watson said in the postgame press conference.
Almost going down, then re-establishing your progressions downfield is impressive. Almost going down, getting kicked in the face, then visualizing where Fells is based on the route he was running and throwing a blind touchdown pass is beyond that.
4. Both of his starting tackles were out
Laremy Tunsil, the starting left tackle, left the game with a shoulder injury shortly before the touchdown play. Chris Clark shifted over in his place. Clark started the game at right tackle with Tytus Howard and Roderick Johnson both missing the game with an injury. Dan Skipper then entered the game to take over on the right side. Clark and Skipper had been on the team for one and two weeks, respectively, going into Week 8. Yeah, that’s a problem.
5. It was almost the same thing he did a week before!
Against the Colts the week before, Watson had a very similar play where he almost went down, but managed to stay up and throw a touchdown. Only that time, the referees blew the play dead, thinking he was down.
That play shouldn’t even be possible one time, let alone two weeks in a row!
6. It won the game
Oh yeah, also the Texans won. The Raiders got the ball back for one more possession after that, but the three-point lead was never tested. The defense held and Watson’s heroics moved the Texans to 5-3 on the season.
The crazy thing is that’s how most of Watson’s amazing plays look. He regularly escapes near-total collapse to score a touchdown or convert a big down. Even when he’s being sacked, it still feels like he’s on another level compared to everyone around him, offense or defense. The game seems to run at a different pace for him, in just his third season in the league.
At 24 years old, Watson is only going to get better ... so long as the Texans figure out a way to get him some help, because he cannot keep getting sacked 60 times a season. But even a lacking offensive line cannot prevent the magic that is Watson in crunch time.