Deshaun Watson may be able to play freer with a coaching regime change.
The Houston Texans were the first team to fire their head coach this season. After four games and an 0-4 start, owner Cal McNair saw enough and parted ways with Bill O’Brien. Much of this had to do with poor roster construction, as he served as the de facto general manager for the team for the last year and change. One player who could benefit from a change is Deshaun Watson.
The Fantasy Footballers recognize it being a relatively favorable matchup for Watson and the Texans offense in Week 5, as they host the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars. After winning their first game of the season over the Indianapolis Colts, the Jaguars have dropped three in a row. Whoever loses in this Week 5 game in Houston will be in terrible shape in the AFC landscape.
One would think an unencumbered Texans team may help bring out the best in Watson. While he has been fine this season, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,056 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions, a big reason he hasn’t been the fantasy dynamo we expected is that he’s not been much of a runner. He only has 17 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown in four games.
Jacksonville has typically been tough matchup for Deshaun Watson.
Even though Houston has a great chance of winning its first game of the season because Jacksonville isn’t very good, Watson has had his struggles offensively against the Jaguars defense. Though Houston is 4-1 in Watson’s five career starts vs. the division rival, he’s averaging about 167 passing yards and less than one touchdown pass per game vs. Jacksonville.
So for Houston to win its first game of the year, Watson has to outplay his counterpart Gardner Minshew. He has more talent than the Minshew, but there does seem to be a greater sense of continuity in Jacksonville over Houston. Obviously, jobs are on the line for both teams in this game, but when push comes to shove, Watson has an extra gear that Minshew just can’t get to.
So will Watson go off in this game for the Texans vs. the Jaguars? Don’t count on it. However, statistical data shows us Houston may be able to find a way to get its first win of the season even if Watson doesn’t play at a Pro Bowl level. 2020 is different, but it’s hard to overlook what we’ve seen in Watson’s first five games vs. the Jaguars in his NFL career.