Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson is an elite tier one quarterback. For some reason, he’s the most disrespected quarterback in the NFL too. (Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

Recently I posted my quarterback tiers for the upcoming season. I broke them down into 9 categories. The top of the list includes quarterbacks in their prime that can win a Super Bowl. That category of players comprises Patrick Mahomes, Carson Wentz, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson. The Texans quarterback is someone I wanted to focus on because I don’t think he’s getting the proper respect he deserves. Deshaun Watson is undoubtedly an elite tier one level quarterback. I’m not sure it’s really debatable either.

I’m not quite sure why but when you hear a list of top quarterback talents, Watson is rarely ever named. I can’t wrap my head around why. To me, Watson is an automatic. He’s proven that he’s a superstar. Do you realize that Watson just won the AFC South with 11 wins? That’s great but there’s more context to it. Watson won 11 games with what is analytically one of the worst, if not the worst offensive line in football. That’s literally IMPOSSIBLE! Offensive lines are so crucial to success. Don’t forget, the Redskins who stink started out the 2018 season 6-2 before Alex Smith got hurt. The number one reason why is because they have a great offensive line that includes Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff. It matters… A LOT. Watson has figured out a way to win with the worst offensive possible. Watson has done the impossible. Just on that nugget alone, if that doesn’t make him an elite quarterback, I don’t know what does.

Let’s also take into consideration that Watson didn’t have a reliable secondary offensive weapon on the roster to finish out the 2018 season. I love Will Fuller, but he tore his ACL in the middle of the season. I get that DeAndre Hopkins is great but it’s not enough when he’s being double teamed and the next best option is undrafted KeKe Coutee. Do me a favor? Name the Texans tight end? Name the Texans receiver behind Coutee? It’s bad. How many teams in the NFL have a better running back than Lamar Miller? If we’re being honest, Miller might legitimately be the single worst starting running back on any of the 32 teams. Not only did Deshaun Watson overcome a horrendous offensive line, he figured out a way to win the AFC South with no reliable secondary pass catcher, and arguably the worst starting running back in the NFL. What more do you want? Watson continues to do the impossible. Win when all of the chips are stacked against him.

Maybe one could argue that Bill O’Brien deserves some praise? I’m not willing to go there and say Watson has some sort of coaching edge. During Watson’s rookie year, he went 3-3 before tearing his ACL and missing the season. Houston managed to win ONE game without him finishing the season 4-12. To make matters worse, Houston gave up their second round pick that year just to dump Brock Osweiler’s contract. That pick turned into Nick Chubb. Brock Osweiler is the reason why Chubb is in Cleveland instead of Houston. The Texans haven’t done Watson any favors. Somehow it continues to not matter, Watson wins anyway. At the end of the day, Dabo Sweeney was right. Deshaun Watson is Michael Jordan. He’s a winner. We just need to give him SOME help. Where’s Scottie Pippen when we need him?

Just watch the games. It’s not that hard. NOBODY in the NFL can do this other than Watson. I mean NOBODY.

The funniest argument I see is when people try to claim that Baker Mayfield is better than Deshaun Watson. Now that’s just laughable. This can be disproven is a minute. Just try to follow along. Hopefully, you’re smart enough to do so. Recently, Mayfield was critical of the Giants decision to draft Daniel Jones. Can’t knock him for the quote. I’m not a fan of Daniel Jones either. Can only knock Mayfield for trying to walk the comments back. Once the words “Blew my mind” left his mouth, you gotta ride with those comments. Can’t walk them back. Anyway stay with me. Baker had a very important line in that interview.

“Some people overthink it,” Mayfield says via GQ. “That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”

I believe there needs to be more context involved, but that’s fine. Let’s take Baker’s premise as is. Being a winner trumps everything. Okay, got it. If that’s the case, there is no possible way Mayfield can feasibly be better than Watson. Deshaun Watson went 33-5 in college (86.84 winning percentage) including 3-1 in Bowl games. Those wins included Ohio State, Alabama, and… Baker Mayfield’s Oklahoma team. Watson literally beat Mayfield on the biggest stage. If you’re not first, you’re last. Well, Watson won a National championship giving Clemson their first championship ever beating what is possibly the greatest college football dynasty ever. On the flip side, Mayfield went 39-9 (81.25 winning percentage). Oklahoma made the final 4 on two separate occasions. He never won a single game. Look, you can argue that Baker Mayfield is better than Deshaun Watson. The problem is that under Mayfield’s logic, he doesn’t even think that he’s better than Watson.

The funny part is that it gets worse when we use NFL wins and losses. Watson is 14-7 as an NFL quarterback. Adding context to explain the Texans roster deficiencies would help further Watson’s case, but I don’t need to do that. “They forget you’ve gotta win” that’s the end all be all, according to Baker. Well, as an NFL quarterback, Mayfield is 6-7 with two of those wins coming against the Bengals which were historically one of the worst defenses ever. Under his own definition, he’s a loser or maybe even a bust. You can’t use experience as an excuse either. Watson is 23-years old. Mayfield is 24-years-old. It’s not Watson’s fault that he reached the NFL faster. If anything, that probably means the former Clemson quarterback has more room to grow. Now that’s a scary thought.

I could also get into how Watson’s character traits are off the charts too. This is a guy who was beat up so bad from his offensive line that he couldn’t fly on a plane. He had to take a 12-hour bus ride to Jacksonville because of a punctured lung. Watson never complained. He found a way to win while playing hurt. That’s a real leader right there.

I’m how many words in and I haven’t even gotten to Watson’s actual statistics. Crazy, right? Before I begin any further, I want to share an article by Football Outsiders. It’s a great read. Watson has been the most pressured quarterback in the NFL since entering the league. Dealing with constant pass rush has been his norm. Watson has been pressured more than any other quarterback in 2017 and in 2018. Both years, Watson was pressured in more than 40 percent of his dropbacks (AN INSANE NUMBER). The nuttiest part of all is that Watson is basically the best quarterback in the NFL when he’s not pressured. Too bad we only get to see that part a little more than half the time.

In Watson’s career, he has a 45-17 TD-INT ratio while completing over 66 percent of his throws. This is also a guy who was a Georgia high school high jump state champion. Watson is a phenomenal athlete. On a per game basis, Deshaun Watson is the number one quarterback in fantasy (which is all stat driven) since entering the NFL.

Deshaun Watson is an elite tier one level quarterback. Deshaun Watson needs more love and respect. He’s not just one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s finding a way to do the impossible.