Deshaun Watson is the Real Deal
Most teams have now reached the halfway point of their seasons, and Texans rookie QB Deshaun Watson finds himself not only in the middle of the Offensive Rookie of the Year debate, but also in the MVP race. With 1699 passing yards, 19 TDs, 8 interceptions along with 269 rushing yards and 2 TDs, it’s clear that Watson has made an almost seamless transition from the NCAA to the NFL.
This past Sunday was the game when I think most people finally realized just how good this guy is, including Richard Sherman.
Watson did just about everything he could to try to get this win, but ultimately lost 41-38 on Sunday afternoon. His final stat line was 19/30 for 402 yards, 4 TDs and 3 INTs, with another 67 yards coming on the ground. It was arguably the best game so far of his young career, but all signs point towards Watson rising to the level of the elite QBs in the NFL today. The Texans are stuck at 3-4 on the year, but thanks to the AFC South being pretty terrible they’re just one game out of first place in the division. Losing J.J. Watt is hard to get over, but if the defense can step up then the Texans are right on the edge of becoming a scary team.
This week was also the trade deadline, which was one of the biggest in recent memory, and there were 3 big trades that made headlines.
Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco
This was definitely the biggest trade of the day, with the Patriots trading their QB of the future to the 49ers for a second round pick in the 2018 Draft. The issue the Patriots had was that they don’t know when they need a new starter. At 40, Brady’s play was expected to drop off this year but he’s showed no signs of slowing down. With Jimmy G in the last year of his rookie contract, the Patriots didn’t have much of a choice. It was either trade him or let him walk. To replace him in the short term, the Patriots picked up Brian Hoyer, who the 49ers originally included in the trade but was later just released from the team. Now, all signs point towards the Patriots drafting their new future quarterback this year, while the 49ers turn their attention to signing Garoppolo this offseason.
Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo
This trade seemed like the Panthers were practically begging to give away their top receiver, after getting only a 3rd and a 7th round pick from the Bills in return. For the Bills, they got a top receiver for a playoff push in a year that was supposed to be a rebuilding year after moving on from Stephon Gilmore, Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby. Instead, the Bills are 5-2 behind only the Patriots in the AFC East. For Carolina, they say the trade is more about getting faster. Benjamin is a #1 receiver, but he’s big. At 6’5, 245 pounds, Benjamin isn’t the fastest guy by any means, but he remains a deep threat nonetheless. If the Bills can find a way to get into the playoffs this year, then this trade could look to be a steal.
Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia
Another trade that seemed to not make a ton of sense for one team, the Dolphins shipped out their top running back to the Eagles for just a 4th round draft pick in 2018. Ajayi has been criticized this season, and rumours of his personality causing issues in the locker room ultimately lead to Adam Gase to trade away one of the best players on the team.
For the Eagles, they just added another weapon to their already loaded offense. Ajayi goes from being the main guy to part of a committee again, but it’s a move that will benefit the team in the long run. While they will still rely on Wentz to carry the load with the Eagles passing game, Ajayi is just one more player for opposing teams to plan their defensive gameplan around. This trade might be the piece that makes the Eagles the favourite to come out of the NFC and play in the Super Bowl LII in Minnesota this year.
In case you missed it, check out last week’s recap here.