Quarterback tale of the tape: Watson vs. Rivers

Deshaun Watson to face longtime veteran for second time in 3 games

By Ari Alexander - Sports Reporter
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HOUSTON - Deshaun Watson is one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the NFL and will face a longtime veteran for the second time in three games when the Texans play Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints got the best of Watson (despite an electric performance from Watson) in Week 1, and Watson followed it up with an uneven Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Here's the tale of the tape between the two quarterbacks.

Accuracy

Advantage: Rivers

Watson and Rivers actually tied in completion percentage in 2018 (68.3, both excellent), but with Rivers' 16-year track record and career 64.6 completion percentage, he gets the nod. For a long, long time, you know that the ball will get to the receiver on time.

Watson is still improving at this, but keep in mind he's only 24, and Rivers' most accurate season came at 32.

Interceptions

Advantage: Watson

Watson doesn't really throw many interceptions. His career 2.3 interception percentage is slightly better than Rivers' 2.5%. In Watson's only full season, though, he hit below 2%.

I'd say it's more likely that Rivers throws a pick than Watson.

Weapons

Advantage: Watson

The Texans have arguably the best wide receivers in the NFL. DeAndre Hopkins is likely the best overall wide receiver in the NFL. Will Fuller is one of the top deep threats when healthy, and Kenny Stills adds a new layer with his ability to play both inside and outside.

Plus, if healthy, Keke Coutee has flashed plus talent in the slot. The only thing missing is a productive tight end, but the Texans barely use one in the pass game anyway. Duke Johnson has so far been solid as a pass-catching back, while Carlos Hyde is solid in pass protection.

The Chargers also have plenty of talent with Keenan Allen (a top 10, if not top five, wide receiver), Mike Williams (one of the top red zone receivers in the NFL) and Travis Benjamin, a terrific deep threat. Not only that, the Chargers use their backfield in the pass game much more than Houston. Austin Ekeler has back-to-back six-catch games, while Justin Jackson is also capable.

Because of Hopkins and the potential of Fuller as the ultimate deep threat, I give the Texans a slight advantage.

Running

Advantage: Watson

Come on.

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