Another week, and two more milestones were met for Deshaun Watson.
The Texans quarterback tossed his franchise-best 30th touchdown of the season last week against the Bengals. In today's loss to the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium, he clinched the NFL passing yards title, and the franchise's single-season passing yards title.
Watson entered Sunday's contest with 4,458 passing yards in 2020, which was second in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes led the League with 4,740 yards entering Week 17, but he sat out the Chiefs' game against the Chargers since Kansas City had the top seed in the AFC sealed. So Watson needed 283 passing yards to best Mahomes, and finished with 365 yards against the Titans. He completed 28-of-39 passes, and tossed three touchdowns and an interception. He finished the game with a 115.9 passer rating.
After the game, Watson pointed out that it's the first time in his football life that as a healthy player, he wouldn't be preparing for the playoffs at the conclusion of a regular season. Only during his freshman year at Clemson when he had an injured knee, and his rookie year of 2017 when went on injured reserve with a knee injury, did Watson's squad not make the playoffs.
Despite the team disappointment, he took a moment to reflect on the records he passed on Sunday.
"That was pretty dope to kind of accomplish that," Watson said. "I know Pat didn't play this game and that would have been a little more tighter and things like that, but yeah, it's pretty dope as an individual and as a stat to be able to do the things I did this year for sure."
Watson was able to put up big numbers despite the team's won-loss record. Interim head coach Romeo Crennel believes the best is yet to come for the 3-time Pro Bowler.
"As he goes forward, he'll get better," Crennel said. "The guys that he is working with, they'll get better, and then I expect to see a better quarterback all the way around."
Receiver Brandin Cooks, who caught a pair of touchdowns from Watson in Sunday's loss, agreed with Crennel on Watson's future.
"You talk about a guy that just loves to perfect his craft," Cooks said. "I think he's grown every single day, every single game, week in and week out. I mean, I just don't see no slowing down with a guy like him. So, from that standpoint you've got to respect him."
Matt Schaub set the franchise's passing yards mark in 2009 with 4,770 yards. So Watson needed 313 yards to surpass that mark, which he did.
On the season, Watson finished with 33 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 4,823 yards, and finished with a passer rating of 112.4. Sunday's game was his 10th with 300 passing yards or more in a contest, also a franchise record.