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Was Watson off to the best start of any rookie in recent memory?

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Post on 2017-11-6 06:07:06 | All posts |Read mode
After coming in off the bench against the Jaguars in Week 1 and struggling through a dreadful Thursday night game -- admittedly one he won for the Texans with an excellent individual effort on a 49-yard TD scramble -- Authentic Dominic Moore Jersey against the Bengals in his first NFL start,

Watson was as good as any quarterback in football. After eight weeks, Watson led the league in Total QBR, which includes his exploits as a runner. His 81.9 mark was 7.9 points better than that of Dak Prescott.
Strictly as a passer, Watson was fifth in passer rating and seventh in the league in ANY/A, but even that sells him short. He had drawn eight pass interference calls for a league-leading 173 yards of hidden offense. Watson had thrown eight interceptions, but most of them had come in irrelevant or hopeless situations, as five of them changed Houston's Authentic Dominic Moore Jersey win expectancy by 2.4 percent or less.
Watson threw 204 passes before suffering his knee injury in Authentic Dominic Moore Jersey practice on Thursday. We have to adjust quarterback stats for the era in which they came, which Pro Football Reference does with its index statistics, as 100 represents era-adjusted league-average.
Ninety-eight quarterbacks have thrown 200 passes or more during their debut campaigns since the merger. Of those 98 passers, Watson posted the best touchdown percentage index (152), the fourth-best yards per attempt index (124),
and the ninth-best adjusted yards per attempt index (113). The closest rookie quarterback Watson resembles is Mark Rypien, who was actually making his debut in 1988 after two seasons on injured reserve. Rypien started six games during his rookie campaign, and their era-adjusted stats are remarkably similar:
Rypien was already 27 by the time he took over as a full-time starter and really spent only five years as a full-time No. 1 quarterback, but he made it to two Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl MVP for his exploits in leading Washington to the Super Bowl in 1991 during those five years in D.C. Watson has shown similar ability in terms of creating big plays downfield, although he's far more effective as a runner.
Watson's touchdown percentage would have regressed to the mean over a larger sample, but given how both he and the Texans' offense were improving week after week, it seems likely the rest of his game would have kept up.
It's impossible to make a perfect comparison because of the smaller sample, but Watson's campaign is certainly in line with that of great recent rookies like Prescott, Matt Ryan, and Russell Wilson as among the best in football.
It's too early to say, but quarterbacks have been able to return from ACL tears without any notable drop off in performance. This is the second time Watson has torn an ACL after doing so in college, but that was an injury to his left knee, while this injury is to his right knee. The promising news is that we haven't heard anything about damage beyond the ACL, which should decrease the complexity of Watson's rehab.
Barring further news on the injury, it seems likely Watson will be ready to return in time for Week 1 next season. While fans might think about Robert Griffin as a worrisome comp for Watson, given that Griffin looked brilliant as a rookie before going down with a knee injury and failing to live up to his previous heights, there are more positive comparables for mobile quarterbacks
of the past, too. Randall Cunningham tore his ACL in 1991 and remained effective as both a passer and runner upon returning. Rich Gannon required an ACL repair after going down with a knee injury as a backup in 1988, and the future Raiders standout remained an effective scrambler, though he didn't see serious game time until 1990.


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