Former Clemson Tiger Deshaun Watson wins pair of NFL Awards
BY: TYRIA GOINES
HOUSTON, T.X. — Former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson wins two NFL awards with the Houston Texans for the AFC Offensive Player of the Month and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October.
Watson is the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to win AFC Offensive Player of the Month and joins Barry Sanders (1989), Edgerrin James (1999), Mike Anderson (2000) and Kareem Hunt (2017) as the only rookies to win the award.
Watson is the ninth Texan and third offensive player in team history to earn AFC Player of the Month honors, joining Andre Johnson (2008, 2012) and Arian Foster (2010, 2011). It’s the 15th time overall a Texan has won in franchise history and the first since Quintin Demps in December 2016. Watson is the seventh Texan and fourth offensive player to earn Rookie of the Month honors, joining DeAndre Hopkins (2013), Steve Slaton (2008) and Domanick Williams (2003). It’s the eighth time a Texan has won in franchise history and the first since Hopkins in September 2013.
In four games in October, Watson was 77-for-124 passing (62.1%) for 1,171 yards, 16 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 116.0 passer rating. He also ran for 145 yards on 21 carries (6.9 avg.) and one touchdown. Watson’s 16 passing touchdowns in October are the most ever by a rookie in a calendar month in NFL history (Dan Marino is second with 11 in October 1983) and the second-most by any player in October in NFL history. Only three players in NFL history have had more passing touchdowns in a calendar month than Watson this past month: Tom Brady (20) in October 2007, Peyton Manning (19) in November 2004, Manning (19) in December 2013 and Tony Romo (17) in November 2007.
Watson was the only quarterback in the NFL with a passer rating above 100 in each of his team’s game in October. He is also the first player in NFL history to throw four-or-more touchdowns in three separate games in the month of October and the fourth player in NFL history to throw four-or-more touchdowns in three separate games of any calendar month. Watson has recorded three games with four-or-more passing touchdowns this season (all in October), joining Fran Tarkenton (1961) as the only rookies to do so in NFL history, and extended his rookie-record to four straight games with three-or-more passing touchdowns (all in October).
Watson, who the Texans selected 12th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, has the most passing touchdowns through a player’s first seven career games in NFL history and his 18 passing touchdowns in the last five games are also the most by a rookie over any five-game span in NFL history. He is first among NFL quarterbacks in total touchdowns with 21 (rushing and passing) and tied for first in the NFL in passing touchdowns with 19 (Eagles QB Carson Wentz). In Week 8 at Seattle, Watson became the first player in NFL history with 400-or-more passing yards, four-or-more passing touchdowns and 50-or-more rushing yards in a single game.
With Clemson, Watson threw for 10,163 yards and 90 career touchdowns. He was the first in Clemson history in career completion percentage (.674), passing efficiency (157.5) and total offense per game (318.3). In his college career in the fourth quarter, he passed for 16 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He is believed to be the first quarterback in FBS history to pass at least 37 hours and throw 35 or more touchdown passes in the same academic year (2015-16).