Deshaun Watson appeared to briefly forget the rules of football on Sunday.
Facing pressure from Los Angeles Chargers pass rusher Joey Bosa on a second-and-seven play from Houston’s 39-yard line, Watson looked to running back Duke Johnson for a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage.
Watson throws ball into the dirt
Chargers cornerback Desmond King was charging Johnson in the backfield, and Watson appeared to have second thoughts about throwing it.
But instead of pulling up on the pass, he threw it directly into the dirt. Behind him. Fumble. It was a clear backward pass that King picked up off the ground and returned to the 15-yard line.
Three plays later, Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen in the end zone to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead.
It was an excellent read and reaction from King on the play. It was also a bizarre mistake from Watson where he seemingly forgot that he wasn’t facing forward.
On one hand, it’s a baffling play from a pro. On another, it’s understandable that the prospect of Bosa landing a clean shot would inspire a moment of panic.
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