Though rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson showed flashes of what the Houston Texans were hoping when they traded up to the No. 12 pick in the draft, he acknowledged after leading the Texans to a 13-9 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday that he still has a lot to learn. This should not come as a surprise, given Watson is the first true franchise quarterback O'Brien has had to work with since coming to the National Football League from Penn State. Later in the first quarter, Jackson forced a turnover that led to fumble recovery and 49-yard return by Jadeveon Clowney. Despite being sacked three times for 27 yards lost, Watson was also the team's top rushing yards leader. In the case of the Houston Texans this week, opportunity will fall to former Oregon Tight End Evan Baylis. Veteran Johnathan Joseph left in the second quarter because of a shoulder injury, and 2015 first-round pick Kevin Johnson left because of a knee injury after he was checked out by the Texans' medical team on the field. I'm all in on the Deshaun Watson era in Houston, and last night made me even more pumped.
"The first start on my birthday was pretty emotional", said Watson, wearing a Texans T-shirt to his postgame media availability.
Game 1 of the why-are-these-guys-playing-on-Thursday had all the makings of following the test-pattern dullness of last year's Thursday night fare, when a temporary restraining order should have been sought. If Deshaun Watson had a better offensive line to protect him and actually give him time in the pocket, he could do some great things.
It doesn't get any easier for the Bengals who will play at Green Bay a week from Sunday.
Andy Dalton completed 20-of-35 passes for 224 yards passing.
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He made his preseason debut against the Redskins in Game 3 and did not catch any passes but had an 8-yard gain on a jet sweep. On paper, Watson appears to be the logical choice given the porous condition of the Texans offensive line. He'll have one thing in his favor Thursday night: He tends not to let bad days linger.
WATT BACK IN FORM: J.J. Watt raised more than $30 million for those affected when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. "I thought for ... the first time he's had that much action, he did a good job". Houston's offense managed just 66 yards in the first half.
It's still early in the season, but injuries are already to beginning to plague the Texans.
Now the Texans are looking to see how he can improve before they face New England on September 24.