Deshaun Watson looked rusty in return from ACL

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 15: Deshaun Watson
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 15: Deshaun Watson /

Deshaun Watson made his first appearance since tearing his ACL back in November, and the second-year star from Clemson was rusty against New England.

The Houston Texans have high expectations. Many believe they are the best team in the AFC South, while some think they can represent the AFC in Super Bowl LIII.

Unfortunately, Sunday wasn’t a good start toward either of those goals for Houston and its star quarterback, Deshaun Watson. Watson played a big part in the Texans’ 27-20 loss at Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots, completing just 17-of-34 attempts for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

All told, the Texans struggled to do much of all offensively. Watson wasn’t good, but that was only reinforced by a leaky offensive line that allowed three sacks and a legion of pressures. Lamar Miller was solid, carrying 20 times for 98 yards, but that was most of the attack on a day when the Texans were taking on Tom Brady. Translation, not enough.

Of course, panicking over one start would be both unwise and unfortunately typical of today’s analysis and hot take syndrome. Watson is going to get questioned a thousand times over, knowing that he’s the main cog in Houston’s engine. With another week under his belt and a game tape to go over, look for Watson to bounce back in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans, albeit in Nashville.

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Ultimately, though, the Texans are going to need more from Watson and the men in front of him. Houston has the talent to make a serious push in the AFC, but if Watson can’t be afforded even average protection, it’s asking a lot for a guy coming off a major injury to step up and carry the mail.