Texans rookie Deshaun Watson scores 1st NFL TD on 15-yard run

CHARLOTTE -- Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson scored his first NFL touchdown on the ground after he scrambled up the middle and into the end zone on a 15-yard run.

Watson, the Texans' first-round draft pick, completed six of eight passes for 52 yards on that drive before getting into the end zone. He showed off his mobility in the game, frequently eluding pressure to create passing lanes.

Watson did have some off-target throws, but he did a good job of throwing the ball away when there was not an open receiver.

"He's a smart player, an instinctive player," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "For the first game out there I thought he did some good things. That's a big jump from college to the NFL, and I thought he handled it pretty well."

Watson ended up completing 15 of 25 passes for 179 yards in the Texans' 27-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He also had three carries for 24 yards and a rushing touchdown.

"It was good just to get my feet wet," Watson said.

Watson, who led Clemson to the ACC championship on this field last December en route to winning the College Football Playoff National Championship, received a rousing ovation from Tigers fans dressed in orange when he entered the game in the second quarter.

The cheers grew louder when Watson outran two defenders for his touchdown run, although Panthers fans tried to cover the celebration with boos.

Watson looked comfortable in the pocket, stepping up to avoid pressure and getting rid of the football in a timely manner. He didn't let penalties on his team affect him and didn't turn the ball over in nearly three quarters of play.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.