Texans' win total not reflective of quarterback Deshaun Watson's play

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans may be 3-7 after their 27-20 victory over the New England Patriots, but their record is not reflective of Deshaun Watson’s play this season.

The quarterback, who signed a huge four-year contract extension before the start of the season, has been one of the few bright spots for the Texans in 2020.

On Sunday against New England, Watson completed 28 of 37 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns, tying a career high with his fifth game with 300 or more passing yards in a season. Watson’s 241 first-half passing yards were a career high for a first half, and his 18 completions are also his most in a first half, according to ESPN Stats & Information. It was also his second career game with three total touchdowns in a first half.

As the Texans face a pivotal offseason, there are many reasons why the open general manager and head coach jobs may be less attractive than other openings this offseason: no first- or second-round draft picks in 2021, a lack of young playmakers on both sides of the ball and several bloated contracts.

But Watson's play, without DeAndre Hopkins and an ineffective running game, shows why Houston could be a destination for any elite coaching candidate.

Troubling trend: Again, the Texans failed to run the ball effectively on Sunday. Duke Johnson, playing in place of injured running back David Johnson (concussion), ran for 15 yards on 10 carries. C.J. Prosise added three carries for four yards. Watson led the team in rushing against the Patriots with 36 yards and a touchdown on six attempts. The Texans' running backs have struggled all season, but 19 yards is a season-low.

Promising performance: With wide receivers Randall Cobb (foot) and Kenny Stills (leg) injured in the first half, Keke Coutee had his most significant game since his rookie season in 2018. Coutee, who had fallen out of favor with former coach Bill O’Brien and had been a healthy scratch six times this season, was back on the field after the Texans cut wide receiver DeAndre Carter. Coutee had two catches for 10 yards and a touchdown and took over punt return duties. This was Coutee’s first appearance on offense since Week 2 and his first touchdown catch since the Texans’ playoff loss in 2018.

Eye-popping stat: The Texans gained 274 yards of total offense in the first half. Watson accounted for 271 of those yards. According to NFL Research, he joins Cam Newton (Week 2) and Russell Wilson (Week 7) as the only quarterbacks with 240 or more passing yards and 30 or more rushing yards in a single half this season