Deshaun Watson Shines; Texans Coach Bill O'Brien Breathes Sigh Of Relief

Deshaun Watson, battered and bruised, dazzled against the Dolphins on Thursday

Taz and the Moose
October 29, 2018 - 7:25 am

USA Today Images

The previous two weeks were not kind to Deshaun Watson. Battered and bruised, he combined for just 316 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in wins over the Bills and Jaguars.

Thursday night was a different story. Watson dazzled against the Dolphins, finishing 16-of-20 for 239 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-23 win.

“I’m sure Bill O’Brien had a huge sigh of relief after that game,” CBS Sports NFL writer Ryan Wilson said on Taz & The Moose. “Rarely am I right, but before the season, I picked the Texans to win the division – and then they got off to that 0-3 start. That offensive line was garbage for about five or six weeks, and they held it together last night.” 

Watson wasn’t sacked, and Lamar Miller rushed 18 times for 133 yards and a touchdown.

“You wonder maybe if they sort of figured it out,” Wilson said. “It’s not going to be a situation where this offensive line is going to be suddenly a top-five unit. But if they can just play mediocre as a unit, then Deshaun Watson will have a chance. He has to limit his hits, which he seemed to do last night – something he hadn’t done previously. He was taking all sorts of hits. It reminded me of RG3 back in his heyday, except the difference is Deshaun is coming off that ACL. But he looked as mobile as ever. He looked as confident as ever. He was lacing balls all over the field. Hopkins was doing what he always does, making fantastic catches.”

Indeed, DeAndre Hopkins was quiet through three quarters but finished with six catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

The only negative on the night? Will Fuller, who had five catches for 124 yards and a touchdown, may have torn his ACL.

“The Fuller loss is obviously going to be huge,” Wilson said. “But if there’s a silver lining that doesn’t involve Fuller needing 10 months to recover, it’s that offensive line, Deshaun Watson and the defense. The defense is really good, and sometimes we sleep on that. So there are reasons for optimism – obviously from last night’s game, but also they play in a terrible division.”

The Titans (3-4), Jaguars (3-4) and Colts (2-5) all have losing records.

“Who knows what you’re going to get from Blake Bortles?” Wilson asked. “The Colts are sneakily playing much better than they have in recent years, but I’m not sure if they’re ready to do anything. And then the Titans – one week they’re good, and the next week they’re the worst team in football. . . . This is five straight wins (for the Texans). If you get nine wins, I feel like that’s a good place to be in the AFC South.”

The Texans (5-3) play at Denver (3-4) on Nov. 4 before their Week 10 bye. Kickoff from Mile High is slated for 4:05 p.m. ET.