Tom Sorensen

To see what Deshaun Watson can be in NFL, watch this instead of stats

The value of Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) isn’t just in his statistics.
The value of Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) isn’t just in his statistics. AP

Only one touchdown was scored Sunday in the Houston Texans’ victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, which, yes, is one more than the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills generated. Former Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson scored the touchdown. Scrambling, Watson faked right, ran up the middle, ran right, cut left and didn’t stop until he hit the end zone.

A rookie, Watson has received accolades for the run, and should. If you watched him at Clemson, you know he can run. You also know that when he has to be good, he is.

Less flashy than the middle, right, left touchdown was Watson’s final drive. Up 10-9 with 8:20 remaining, the Texans had the ball on their 10. They kept it 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. They drove to the Cincinnati 24 and kicked a field goal. They would win 13-9.

Watson passed for 125 yards Sunday and ran for 67. For a quarterback who turned 22 only three days before the game, that’s acceptable. Time will be required, obviously, before he becomes a consistently effective NFL quarterback.

One quality all good quarterbacks share is leadership. When they get in the huddle and tell teammates that they will pick up the first down or the touchdown or both, teammates believe.

Watson was a leader during his spectacular career in Clemson. As Houston’s final drive demonstrates, he’ll be a leader in the NFL, too.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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