The silver lining in a loss for the Texans is that Deshaun Watson looked every bit of the MVP candidate they expect him to be this season, as exemplified by his two laser throws on their final drive to improbably take a lead on the Saints with under a minute remaining. The bad news is that Watson once again got walloped; he was sacked six times and hit on 11 dropbacks.
Paul Hembekides, the stats guru for ESPN’s Get Up, provides a harrowing metric this morning:
It’s already caught up to Watson in some regards — we saw him head to the injury tent last night; last October, he had to take a bus to Jacksonville because his rib and lung injuries prevented him from flying — but as long as he’s in the game, the Texans can beat anyone.
The Texans have tried to address this. They mortgaged their future to arguably overpay for stud left tackle Laremy Tunsil, trading two first-round picks and a second to the Dolphins. As Colin Cowherd producer Greg Toohey pointed out to me last night, they selected guard/tackle Tytus Howard out of Alabama in the first round, but he was unable to play Monday night due to a finger injury.
Nonetheless, the punishment Watson takes is unsustainable. If he continues to be battered at this rate, the Texans will be doomed in a season that should be lining up for their success with the retirement of Andrew Luck and injury to Nick Foles within the division.