The Influential JJ Watt Looks To Lead The Texans For Remainder Of Season
Ethan Epley ’16
Few players in Texans history have been as charismatic and influential in games as JJ Watt. Drafted 11th overall in 2011, Watt has grown into one of the best defensive players in the NFL. In 2012, just his second year in the NFL, Watt was awarded Defensive Player of the year. At the beginning of the 2014-2015 season, he signed a $100 million contract with a guaranteed $51 million, making him officially the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. This season, Watt has continued to impress. He scored a receiving touchdown in week 2 against the Oakland Raiders, making it his first career catch and first career touchdown. Then, in week 4, Watt had a 79 yard touchdown after an interception from an EJ Manuel pass. He has undoubtedly been the biggest defensive playmaker on the team over the past few years.
One of the greatest defensive players of all time is Michael Strahan, who holds the sack record for a single NFL season with 22.5 . When asked about Watt’s caliber of play, he had this to offer: “What I love is he has desire to excel in every facet of the game…he plays run like a champ and can line up and rush the passer unlike anyone else on the field”. Strahan also went on to discuss the potential and growth he sees in Watt and his potential to be the best. All of this coming from a Hall of Famer and one of the most highly decorated defensive players of all time.
Through the tumultuous season of Matt Schaub last year and the subsequent 2-14 season, Watt provided a rallying figure for Texans fans that needed a boost of hope. This season will also require some JJ Watt magic. With the Texans now 3-3, it is looking increasingly likely that the Texans will be relying on their defense which has been quite strong this season. Against the Cowboys, they had 2 fumble recoveries and an interception which helped the Texans stay in the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been struggling with turnovers so far, throwing 5 interceptions in 6 games. As a result, the Texans’ defense has been put under pressure more and more. As evidence by his 3 touchdowns this season already, JJ Watt is definitely up for the challenge. With the Texans in a state of repair after last season, Watt is going to be needed more than ever. But, as the last 6 games have gone, the Texans defense has held its own with a takeaway in every game so far.
Hopefully with the leadership and talent of JJ Watt, the defense can continue to carry the team as the offense works out its kinks and improves its ability to make plays.