Texans won’t be able to produce chunk plays without QB Deshaun Watson

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Mark Lane
·2 min read
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The Houston Texans and quarterback Deshaun Watson are at an impasse: the three-time Pro Bowler wants out of the Bayou City, but the AFC South club is not willing to acquiesce to his request.

Aside from the leadership Watson provides on and off the field, inside the building and in the community, the former 2017 first-round pick from Clemson is also a catalyst for their offense, even beyond what is expected playing at the game’s most critical position.

According to new data from Pro Football Focus, Watson has completed 66 passes on throws of 20-plus yards since 2019, the most in the NFL in that span.

Take away Watson, and you take away the Texans’ ability to generate chunk plays, move the ball, sustain drives, score points — basically play victorious football.

The challenge new coach David Culley has on his hands is twofold: how to keep Watson playing at that high level, or how to replace Watson’s chunk play ability if in fact the Texans trade their franchise quarterback.

Another element that has been helpful is Watson’s receiving corps. Although some catches in the total since 2019 include throws to All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins, now with the Arizona Cardinals, receiver Will Fuller has also been a key component. If Watson is surrounded with a talented enough receiving corps, he can find ways to generate the chunk plays downfield.

Houston has a big part of their offensive success locked under contract through the 2025 season. The Texans need to find a way to make peace with Watson and get ready to rebound from a 4-12 finish in 2020.

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