If you don't know that Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson wears number 4, don't worry.
John Harris is positive that, soon enough, you will.
"If No. 4 stays healthy, I think the Texans are right in [the] conversation (for the AFC Championship)," Harris, a Houston sideline reporter, told Tom E. Curran on Thursday night's edition of Quick Slants. "I think [the Texans] are going to be right in there because No. 4 gives [them] a chance every time he goes out on the field, no matter who he's throwing to. [They] got a shot because Deshaun Watson's healthy.
"If he's not healthy, they'll be 4-12 again."
Watson was the Texans' starting quarterback for 6 1/2 games last season, taking over from Tom Savage at halftime in Week 1 and holding the job until suffering a season-ending ACL tear in practice prior to the eighth game. While the team had a losing record (3-4, counting the Week 1 loss) during his tenure, a lot of that was due to a wave of injuries that decimated the defense; he completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns, with only 8 interceptions, and had a 103.0 passer rating. In addition, his mobility and speed gave the Texans an added dimension that was a true headache for opposing defenses. Houston was 1-8 after he went down, which resulted in the 4-12 record Harris mentioned.
Now he's back and -- according to Harris -- he's better than ever.
"I don't want to scare everybody throughout the AFC, but Deshaun -- from the day that he was cleared, the first day of training camp -- he was like the old Deshaun," said Harris. "He was running around in practice, he did some things in the preseason scrambling out . . . His scrambling ability, his ability to get out of the pocket, those things are still there.
"The ability to create plays made [the Texans'] offense one of the most fun offenses to watch throughout the NFL. When he, Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins were on the field together in four games, they averaged 40 points [a game]. . . . I haven't seen an offense (like this in Houston) since the Warren Moon run-and-shoot days (with the Oilers in the 1980s and early '90s). I mean, we had guys like (former and present Patriots backups) Ryan Mallet and Brian Hoyer (at quarterback), which you guys definitely know about, we watched those guys kind of muddle through -- [and] I don't even want to talk about Brock Osweiler."
"Deshaun is right there." said Harris. "Deshaun is right where he needs to be."
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