In my Sunday game review of Deshaun Watson's record-setting performance against Tennessee, I noted that the most impressive development in his game over three weeks has been the professional-grade, tight-window passes that have helped the Texans extend drives beyond those dreaded third-and-8 situations. These are throws that take some quarterbacks years to develop.
Leave it to the wonderful folks at NFL's Next Gen Stats to place this in its proper perspective. Just how good was Watson on these quick, standard-drop passes to his wide receivers, running backs and tight ends?
On passes that took 2.5 seconds or less, Watson was 15 of 16 for 136 yards and three touchdowns.
"He sees the game pretty well," O'Brien said. "There's a lot of things he sees. He's seeing a lot of different things, third-down blitzes for the first time, red area blitzes for the first time... I think he's making really good decisions, that's the kind of guy he is -- a very calm guy, a very thoughtful guy."
He added: "He really can throw the football. He's a really accurate passer. He has big hands. He can sling it. He's a smart runner."
Watson has the tendency to get pigeonholed into the mobile quarterback category thanks to his standout speed (Watson is second on the team in rushing, about 100 yards behind Lamar Miller), but as one reporter pointed out during O'Brien's postgame press conference, Watson over the last two weeks has used his pocket-passing skills to set up his runs. He's actually a significantly worse quarterback when he extends the play beyond 2.5 seconds and wanders around in the pocket (on Sunday, he was 10 of 18 for 147 yards, one touchdown and one interception on throws of 2.5 seconds or more).