March 18 2018

O'Brien: Watson Will Get Better

March 18 2018, 05:13 | Geraldine Moore

O'Brien: Watson Will Get Better

Houston Texans wide receiver De Andre Hopkins bobbles a pass as Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye defends the play during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday Sept. 10 2017 in Houston

The Houston Texans are expected to start rookie Deshaun Watson at quarterback tonight against Cincinnati, and agent for demoted quarterback Tom Savage isn't happy about.

The two teams combined for seven points last week - all by the Texans. In fact, Watson probably provided more upside than Savage. They are the first team without a TD in consecutive home games since the 1939 Eagles.

Cincinnati drove 64 yards in 48 seconds just before halftime but settled for a 29-yard Bullock field goal, making the score 10-6. He was sacked three times and had a 75.9 rating, but did not throw an interception.

Then O'Brien made a smart move to admit Savage was doomed and put his rookie into the game. This should not come as a surprise, given Watson is the first true franchise quarterback O'Brien has had to work with since coming to the National Football League from Penn State.

Fans tailgating before the game will see showers and temperatures in the high 60s F. Some people thought the decision would doom Watson to failure. Even if the defense can rebound from its uncharacteristic performance on Sunday against Jacksonville, the Texans found out last season that even the No. 1 ranked defense could not get them far in the playoffs without a competent offense and quarterback.

Watson was far from flawless in Houston's ugly 13-9 win over Cincinnati. Watson completed 12 of 23 passes for 102 yards, including a touchdown pass to fellow Clemson product DeAndre Hopkins.

Jackson had a record night, picking up the first sack of his eight-year career when he took down Andy Dalton for a loss of four yards on the Bengals first offensive series.

It's clear the Texans have to stick with Watson in 2017. Some of Dalton's play has to do with the Texans, which had the No. 1 defense last season. Watson also led Houston in rushing with 5 carries for 67 yards and 1 touchdown.

"I watched all 31 plays, because that was the extent of what Tom saw in the first half, and I can't figure out why [Texans coach Bill O'Brien] is benching Tom", Schwartz said.

The good news for the Texans is that cornerback Marcus Burley came in and helped out. He's not going to fold under pressure.

Watson will have his bad games. But he'll also provide a spark this team hasn't had offensively, perhaps ever. "Thank you for throwing it to the guy closest to me - body slam".

"As a coordinator, two of the most important things that you have to do is to get the quarterback in rhythm and get the running back in rhythm", Lazor said when asked about Dalton.

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