Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson made his long-awaited preseason NFL debut on Wednesday evening. He completed 15-of-25 passes for 179 yards and also added 24 rushing yards, including one rushing touchdown.
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Watson’s performance was enough to prompt some praise from head coach Bill O’Brien.
“He is a smart and distinctive player,” O’Brien said following the game, per Conor Orr of NFL.com. “First game out there I thought he did some big things. It is a big jump from college to the NFL. I thought he handled it pretty well.”
The Texans wound up losing to the Carolina Panthers, 27-17. Starter Tom Savage opened up the game and completed 9-of-11 passing attempts for 69 yards. In all, no passing touchdowns were accomplished by any of the quarterbacks, including Brandon Weeden who played the tail end of the game.
It will be worth following Watson’s performances during the next three preseason games. Savage is the presumed starter for Week 1 and has wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ solid endorsement.
Although, the scales could tip in Watson’s favor should Savage stumble up in the next few weeks. It is not the Texans’ long-term plans for Watson to be sitting around too long on the sidelines.