Texans are Super Bowl contenders if Deshaun Watson remains healthy

Mandatory Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images /

The Houston Texans will need a bounce back year from Deshaun Watson if they want to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February.

In this era of football, if you don’t have a franchise quarterback, you’re doomed. Just a few days after throwing for over 400 yards for the first time in his career, against the Seattle Seahawks, Watson suffered a torn ACL in his right knee.

Luckily for the Houston Texans, it appears their guy is right on schedule to return from the gruesome injury. On Tuesday, Watson was throwing in individual drills, but not participating in team drills.

"“My knee feels [good and] comfortable,” Watson said according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. “[It was great] to be able to go out there and throw and do some things out there and get the timing down with the receivers. Just to actually get back out here with the group, with the team, with the whole offense and being able to just get back to the basics of football and build that chemistry and just build that leadership and that trust within each other.”"

Last season, Watson captivated the league with his playmaking ability during his rookie campaign. In seven games, the signal-caller threw for 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Lets not forget, Watson used his speed to escape blitzes and tallied 269 yards and two scores.

His 19 touchdown passes surpassed Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner’s previous record for the most touchdowns in his first seven career games. He also became the first rookie quarterback to be named AFC offensive player of the month.

According to Pro Football Focus, Watson also had the highest passer rating in the NFL when he was protected.

With Watson on the field, the Texans were 3-4. As an offense, the team scored 30+ points in four of the seven games he played in. Without the former first-round pick, the Texans only won one more game in 2017 and that was the only game they eclipsed 30 points in his absence.

The combination of Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins already showed a glimpse of greatness in their short time together. Hopkins hauled in seven scores from Watson, including a three-touchdown performance against the Kansas City Chiefs. A full season on the field will make them one of the leagues most potent duos.

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Watson proved he could go toe-to-toe against prominent quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Russell Wilson.

Bottom line, Watson is special and he dictates the direction of this team. The AFC South is one of the most improved divisions in football and it is evident, without Watson on the field the Texans can’t compete.

But, with him healthy Houston is not only a threat in the division but also in the entire conference.