In Sunday's Texans win over the Chargers, on the Texans' first possession of the game, Deshaun Watson dropped back to pass, setting up a screen pass to Duke Johnson. Unfortunately, the Chargers diagnosed the play flawlessly, like they were in the Texans' huddle before the snap, and Watson tried to spike the ball at Johnson's feet and live to fight another play.
What started as a lost down, though, turned into a disaster as Watson's spike attempt went backwards (thus, making it a lateral) and bounced into the arms of Chargers defensive back Desmond King. Three plays later, the Chargers were up 7-0. In the aftermath of that turnover, it was hard enough to envision the Texans coming back to win that game, and much, much harder to envision Watson rebounding to become the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for last weekend.
However, that's exactly what happened, on both fronts. The Texans defeated the Chargers by a score of 27-20, and on Wednesday morning, we found out that Watson, for the second time in his career (the first was Week 4 of his rookie season in 2017), was named the AFC's top offensive player for the week. This is on the heels of Whitney Mercilus taking home the AFC's defensive honors in Week 2.
For the game, Watson completed 25 of 34 pass attempts for 351 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 135.8 passer rating. My radio cohost Seth Payne called it his "favorite performance of Watson's career," because not only was it a win, not only was he statistically very good, but Watson also showed further development in the finer points of quarterbacking, like diagnosing blitzes and reading coverages.
Sunday was Watson's most prolific game in terms of passing yards (351) since Week 5 of the 2018 season, when he threw for 375 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. It was his eighth career game with 300 or more passing yards, tied for the fourth-most 300-yard passing games (eight) within a player’s first 26 career games in NFL history.
Per Texans PR, here is where Watson stands in league history in some fairly substantial career categories and statistical benchmarks:
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Watson became the fastest player in NFL history to record 6,500 career passing yards and 500 rushing yards while also becoming the fastest player in NFL history to record 50 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns (26 games). He is just the third player in NFL history to record at least 6,500 passing yards and 50 passing touchdowns in a player’s first 26 career games and became the fourth-fastest player in NFL history to record 50 passing touchdowns. Watson now owns 51 passing touchdowns, which is the fourth-most in NFL history through 26 games, and 6,642 passing yards, which is the sixth-most in NFL history through 26 games.
This marks the 45th time a Houston Texan has been named Player of the Week in franchise history. Here is the list of previous winners:
Player Award Week Season
Deshaun Watson Offensive 3 2019
Whitney Mercilus Defensive 2 2019
Ka’imi Fairbairn Special Teams 15 2018
J.J. Watt Defensive 12 2018
Jadeveon Clowney Defensive 4 2018
Johnathan Joseph Defensive 6 2017
Deshaun Watson Offensive 4 2017
Shane Lechler Special Teams 8 2016
Will Fuller V Special Teams 4 2016
Whitney Mercilus Defensive 1 2016
J.J. Watt Defensive 17 2015
J.J. Watt Defensive 11 2015
DeAndre Hopkins Offensive 6 2015
Randy Bullock Special Teams 16 2014
Ryan Fitzpatrick Offensive 13 2014
J.J. Watt Defensive 11 2014
J.J. Watt Defensive 4 2014
J.J. Watt Defensive 15 2012
Matt Schaub Offensive 11 2012
J.J. Watt Defensive 3 2012
Arian Foster Offensive 7 2011
Arian Foster Offensive 4 2011
Glover Quin Defensive 12 2010
Matt Schaub Offensive 6 2010
Andre Johnson Offensive 2 2010
Arian Foster Offensive 1 2010
Brian Cushing Defensive 8 2009
Brian Cushing Defensive 6 2009
Jacoby Jones Special Teams 4 2009
Matt Schaub Offensive 2 2009
Matt Schaub Offensive 14 2008
Steve Slaton Offensive 13 2008
Jacoby Jones Special Teams 8 2008
Jacoby Jones Special Teams 6 2008
André Davis Special Teams 14 2007
Kris Brown Special Teams 5 2007
Mario Williams Defensive 1 2007
Kris Brown Special Teams 16 2006
DeMeco Ryans Defensive 13 2006
Andre Johnson Offensive 4 2006
Jerome Mathis Special Teams 8 2005
Kris Brown Special Teams 3 2004
Chad Stanley Special Teams 9 2003
Avion Black Special Teams 15 2002
Aaron Glenn Defensive 14 2002