Deshaun Watson’s role in Sunday’s 53-32 win against the Atlanta Falcons was a historic, record-setting performance. But there was one play in the first quarter that had even left tackle Laremy Tunsil shaking his head after the game.
“Did you all see the pocket collapse, then he fumbled the ball, picked it up and got a first down?” Tunsil asked the media in the locker room after the game.
Tunsil was referring to a play midway through the first quarter on third-and-7. Watson fumbled the ball at the Houston 42-yard line, scooped it up five yards later and added a ten-yard scramble before running out of bounds at Atlanta’s 38-yard line.
Shaking his head hours later, Tunsil still couldn’t believe it.
“I was right there and I was like, there is no way he picked it up and ran for a first down," Tunsil said. "He’s a magician, bro. A magician.”
Tunsil has just played five games with Watson since arriving to Houston via trade with Miami on September 1. In the Week 5 win, Watson completed 28-of-33 passes for 426 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. He also rushed for 47 yards on four carries. The Texans third-year quarterback became the first player to throw for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game in NFL history.
Although Watson’s fumble took a fortuitous bounce and he was able to recover it, head coach Bill O’Brien was quick to point out that ball security will still be a focus in practice this week as the Texans prepare for Kansas City. But even so, O’Brien couldn’t help but be impressed with Watson’s quick thinking.
“I just wrote in my comment box, that was great coaching,” O’Brien said, joking. “We work on that play a lot in practice. We bounce the ball to ourselves and run for 10 yards. But, no, it was a great play. Just an example of his instincts, he’s got really good instincts.”
The Texans will head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in Week 6. Sunday’s kickoff is set for 12 noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.