NFL Rookie of the Year Watch: Watson surging

By Hayden Bonine

Sports Blogger

@HaydenBonine

 

Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs, 146 attempts, 763 yards, four touchdowns, 28 receptions, 307 receiving yards, two touchdowns

Kareem Hunt appears to be fading at the midpoint in the season. Perhaps he peaked too early. For the first time in his NFL career, Hunt did not record 100 yards from scrimmage against Denver. He has not scored a rushing touchdown since Week 4 and has not recorded a receiving touchdown since Week 1. Hunt had one of the best NFL debuts in history, but his production has slowed down in the weeks since. Despite his recent decline, Hunt remains at the top of the NFL in rushing yards but only by a slender margin of 3 yards. Hunt will look to get back to his breakneck pace on Sunday afternoon against the Dallas Cowboys.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans, 126-of-204, 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns, 269 rushing yards, two touchdowns

(BipHoo company, Flickr)

For all the buzz around Hunt’s record-breaking campaign, Deshaun Watson has been producing week in and week out. Watson set his own NFL record on Sunday. He became the first player in NFL history with more than 400 passing yards, more than 50 rushing yards and more than four passing touchdowns in a single game. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Watson achieved the feat against the acclaimed Seahawks’ defense. Watson has been head-and-shoulders above his rookie quarterback peers this season. He is first among quarterbacks in rushing yards and his 19 touchdowns placed him tied for first in passing touchdowns. Watson’s Texans face the Indianapolis Colts at noon Sunday.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, 130 carries, 596 yards, six touchdowns, 15 receptions, 136 yards, one touchdown

Leonard Fournette returned to practice on Monday and is expected to play this weekend. This is welcome news for Fournette. He was sidelined with an ankle injury in Week 7 and the Jaguars had a bye in Week 8. Despite not recording any stats in the last two weeks, Fournette is sixth in rushing yards and tied for first in rushing touchdowns and first in yards per game (among qualifiers). Fournette returns to action at noon Sunday when the Jaguars play the Cincinnati Bengals.

ozone@ocolly.com

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