Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson put together a breakout performance Sunday, throwing for 283 yards and scoring five total touchdowns as the Texans blew out the Tennessee Titans. Watson tied the single-game touchdown record for rookie quarterbacks.
Texans PR @TexansPR
#Texans QB @deshaunwatson's five total TDs ties the all-time single-game QB rookie record #TexansKidsDay2017-10-1 19:28:14
In all, Watson finished 25-of-34 through the air with four touchdowns and an interception while rushing for 24 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
In the process, the Texans set a new franchise record for points in a game, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Watson was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter as the Texans led 54-14.
Watson's big day put him in rarefied air, per ESPN Stats & Information:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Deshaun Watson: 3rd rookie with 4 pass TD & 1 rush TD in a game in NFL history, joining Charlie Conerly & Fran Tarkenton (via @EliasSports). https://t.co/UVk6IE0ZdS2017-10-1 20:01:25
Tom Savage opened the season as the starting quarterback but was benched after the first half in Week 1. Watson took over and hasn't looked back, nearly leading the team to a victory over the New England Patriots in Week 3 and helping Houston to a 2-2 record on the season.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle offered slightly different perspectives on the coaching staff given the trajectory of Watson's ascension to starter and play since being given the nod:
Texans coaches somehow looked at Deshaun Watson, Tom Savage all offseason, training camp, preseason, thought Savage was best Week 1 option.2017-10-1 19:16:13
John McClain @McClain_on_NFL
GM Rick Smith deserves credit for trading up to get Watson in first round. O'Brien deserves credit for coaching him.2017-10-1 19:34:54
Meanwhile, Watson's play has left him on the shortlist of NFL Rookie of the Year candidates, alongside Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. Given the offensive weapons he has to work with and the team's solid defense, the Texans are thinking playoffs once again.