J.J. Watt: A Historic Replacement
With an off season focused on the departure of two time all pro DE Mario Williams, the Houston Texans fan base had little time to conjure up great expectations for the youthful J.J. Watt. A starter in all 16 games last year Watt had 5.5 sacks along with 58 tackles. Fast forward to late December of 2012 and Watt has 20.5 sacks, just two away from Michael Strahan‘s the all time sack record of 22.5. It is safe to say Watt has shattered the memory of the NFL drafts first overall pick in 2006, Mario Williams.
Now, 12-3 the Houston Texans are hopeful to capture the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl birth after the team’s first postseason in 2011-12. A 3-4 defense anchored by Watt, has been a catalyst for the team this season. As the team has allowed 107 points in their three losses, an average of 35.6 a game. In wins the Texan defense has yielded just 196, an average of 16.3.
Watt has been a mainstay since being drafted 11th overall in 2011 NFL draft, starting in 29 of a possible 30 games. Injury was the question with Williams as the torn pectoral may have prematurely ended his days in Houston. However, in just two seasons, Watt has 26 sacks. Through three full seasons Williams had 30.5.
When the Buffalo Bills went out and gave Williams a contract of $50M (the most in NFL history) the Texans were naturally depleted. Not to mention, the immediate question of Watts inability to handle double teams that would now be placed on him. However, thanks to a magical 2012 J.J. Watt has given Texan fans reason to cheer. On the other hand, a 5-9 Bills team is 31st in points allowed per game with more than 28 a contest.
It looks to me like the Houston Texans have made out like bandits in this transition at defensive end.