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Christian Watson Packers
NFL

Has The Christian Watson Ascent Begun?

  • Justin Melo
  • October 3, 2022
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The Green Bay Packers claimed a thrilling overtime victory over the New England Patriots Sunday. Packers rookie wide receiver Christian Watson emerged as a weapon on offense. Watson enjoyed the most fruitful showing of his young career and may begin heating up after missing the majority of camp with an injury.

The No. 34 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Watson scored Green Bay’s opening touchdown against the Patriots. Watson came in motion and took a carry in the backfield for a 15-yard touchdown. It was an impressive play call and design from Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.

It was Watson’s first career touchdown. It was a necessary moment for Watson, who dropped a deep would-be touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1. The Packers showed an intriguing willingness to get Watson involved. Sunday’s score indicates Watson is becoming a larger part of Green Bay’s game plan. It also marked Watson’s return to Green Bay’s lineup following his absence from their Week 3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a hamstring injury.

Watson will now look to build on Sunday’s performance. Sunday’s touchdown was a crucial score for Watson, who missed large chunks of the offseason with injury. Watson also struggled with focus drops throughout rookie minicamp and organized team activities (OTAs). Watson’s Lambeau Leap TD celebration was well deserved for a player that’s battled some consistency and injury struggles throughout the early portion of his career.

There’s reason to believe Sunday’s touchdown can kickstart Watson’s career. Watson played 25% of Green Bay’s offensive snaps in a healthier receiver room. It’s still a modest number, but it also indicates Watson’s influence in Green Bay is growing as they continue searching for explosive passing plays in a new-look receiver room.

LaFleur’s crafty play call is worth taking into account, as he opted to get Watson involved by designing a touch for him in the backfield. Watson was a height/weight/speed prospect at North Dakota State with the ability to threaten opposing defensive backs in space and pick up chunks of yardage after the catch. The dynamic Watson is an explosive play creator. Bringing Watson in motion into the backfield places stress on opposing defenders. These traits were on display during Watson’s visit to the end zone.

It’s worth acknowledging Watson continues to be outperformed by fellow rookie receiver Romeo Doubs, who built chemistry with Aaron Rodgers in Watson’s absence. Doubs saw a career-high eight targets for the second consecutive contest against the Patriots. Doubs totaled five receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown (his second straight game with a score). Seeing both Doubs and Watson record touchdowns on Sunday offers a glimpse into the future of Green Bay’s receiver room. There’s reason for excitement.

Watson’s ascension has been a slow one. The Packers have required patience while slowly bringing along their second-round receiver. Sunday’s touchdown offered a peek into Watson’s capabilities pre-and-post catch. It offers a banner of optimism for all parties involved as Christian Watson aims to improve as the season progresses.

Written By

Justin Melo