In his short time in the NFL, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has lifted himself off into stardom as one of the premier young players in the game and is easily one of the top players in his draft class. Watson has already set numerous NFL records, along with several impressive individual outings. It was a challenging task to narrow down this list, but here are the four best performances so far in his NFL career.
4. 2019: Week 1 vs. Saints
The Texans started the 2019 season off with a tough matchup in Week 1 action against Drew Brees and the Saints. Houston held early control of the contest, but the Saints behind Brees stormed back to take the lead in the second half, scoring 10 straight points in the fourth quarter to grab a six-point lead with 50 seconds left in regulation.
However, Watson demonstrated much poise under pressure as he led the Texans on a two-play touchdown drive, going 75 yards capped off with a 37-yard end-zone laser to Kenny Stills. That put the cherry on top of his colossal outing, completing 20-of-30 passes for 268 yards with three touchdown passes, four rushes for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the buzz from that drive and his overall performance being somewhat diminished by New Orleans getting a 58-yard field goal to win the game with time expiring, Watson showcased that night that he brings his A-game to the table against the best.
3. 2018: Week 7 vs. Dolphins
The Texans entered the contest needing a win to gain some separation in their push towards the playoffs, and Watson was ready to roll.
The Pro Bowler was highly efficient throwing the ball, completing 16-of-20 passes for 239 yards with five touchdowns while holding a 156.0 passer rating. His performance also helped him move ahead of Hall of Famer Dan Marino (32) for the second-most touchdown passes (34) in NFL history in his first 15 career games.
It was a game that was never truly in question behind Watson’s pinpoint accuracy that saw him hook up with three different wide receivers for touchdowns.
2. 2018: Week 16 vs. Eagles
At this point in the 2018 season, the Texans had already positioned themselves in the thick of the playoff picture with a chance to secure a first-round bye.
However, the Eagles were making a strong push towards the postseason needing to win out. Houston was tested throughout the contest, but things began to tilt in the Eagles’ favor in the second half with 16-unanswered points that gave them a 13-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Despite their backs being against the wall, Watson orchestrated back-to-back drives resulting in touchdown passes, with the latter being a 35-yard connection to Vyncint Smith on 3rd-and-11 that gave the Texans a 30-29 lead with 2:04 left in regulation.
Nick Foles may have worked his magic once again by setting up a game-winning 35-yard field goal with time expiring, but it shouldn’t take away from Watson’s brilliance under center. He finished completing 29-of-40 passes for 339 yards with two touchdowns along with rushing for 49 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns.
1. 2019: Week 5 vs. Falcons
The Clemson product has had some phenomenal performances in his brief time in NFL career, but he hasn’t had an outing like he did in Week 5 of this season against Atlanta.
Watson dictated the entire game with his arm as he torched the Falcons’ secondary, completing 28-of-33 passes for a career-high 426 yards with five touchdown passes to zero interceptions while holding a 158.3 perfect passer rating. He became just the third player in the Super Bowl era to record at least 400 passing yards, five touchdown passes, and a perfect passer rating in a single game, according to ESPN.
Beyond recording just as many incompletions to touchdowns thrown in the contest, he was also the first player to pass for 400 yards with five touchdowns and five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game. If there was ever a statement game for Watson’s young career, this one was clearly it.