Deshaun Watson, Texans look lost against Colts in Wild Card game

Deshaun Watson, #4, Houston Texans, (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson, #4, Houston Texans, (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans had an opportunity to pick up a first down, but Deshaun Watson threw an interception. Here’s why.

Fourth and 4 from the Colts’ 45-yard line. Deshaun Watson intercepted.

On the most important play of Houston’s season to date, Watson dropped back in a clean pocket and threw an ugly pick to Kenny Moore. A first glance shows a quarterback throwing desperately into traffic. However, the All-22 views is far harsher on Watson.

Pre-snap, the Colts showed a Cover 2 man look. Upon the play starting, Indianapolis dropped into a Cover 2 sink, playing five underneath defenders in zone while rolling the two safeties over the top. On the right side, DeAndre Hopkins ran a corner route and broke clear of any defender.

Instead of going to his All-Pro receiver, Watson tried to fit the ball into the flat for a first down. This suggests that either Watson couldn’t read a very straightforward defensive alignment, or that the Texans did a horrible job of self-scouting with their young quarterback throwing to a pre-determined read.

Head coach Bill O’Brien had the right play called, and he’s been working with Watson to further his understanding of schemes. There’s no question that Watson has elite talent, but missing a read on a play like that is crushing in a playoff game.

Additionally, some of the mess that is Houston’s showing at home in the Wild Card round falls on the staff. Moore jumped the underneath route like he knew it was coming. This speaks to a tendency that Houston didn’t realize was established throughout the season. O’Brien and his staff playing to said tendency against a team that they are seeing for a third time this season is a sin of epic proportions.