The Houston Texans have a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year in J.J. Watt. What makes his case above the others? Take a look as to why Watt will win his 4th DPOY award, an NFL record.
Ever since Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has entered the league nearly seven seasons ago, he has been one of the most dominant defenders. His three Defensive Player of the Year awards ties him with Lawrence Taylor for the most in NFL history. Watt struggled to stay healthy through the 2016-17 seasons as he only played eight games, not having the opportunity to make an impact during that span.
The 2018 season has been a return to supremacy for Watt as he is tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 12.5 and is third in forced fumbles with five. His ability to wreak havoc in the opponent’s backfield has helped propel the Houston Texans to a 9-4 record this season and a historic nine-game winning streak after an 0-3 start. Watt’s impact on the game does not always show up on the stat sheet as opposing teams double or triple team him so that he cannot get into the backfield, allowing Jadeveon Clowney to get after the quarterback.
Watt’s play this season has been overshadowed by Aaron Donald, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year but that should not be the case. While Donald leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks, he trails Watt in forced fumbles with four and in the Los Angeles Rams’ stunning loss to the Chicago Bears he had two tackles and was not all that impressive. Watt was held in check for most of the game against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday but he recorded a sack and a pass deflection despite being double-teamed for most of the game.
Watt does not make an impact on every snap but he influences the Houston Texans’ defense every time he’s on the field. Players like Whitney Mercilus and Zach Cunningham are able to roam around all over the middle of the field because of Watt’s ability to take on more than one blocker. Clowney is given more opportunities to get after the quarterback because he does not face the same amount of double-coverage that Watt does.
Watt’s impact on the Texans can be seen on the scoreboard as they were the worst scoring defense in the NFL last season at 27.3 points allowed per game. This year, the Texans are fifth in points allowed at 19.9 and have been one of the league’s better units with the healthy return of Watt. Donald’s impact on the Rams this season cannot be fully measured as they have allowed more points this season but have been ravaged by injuries.
Donald’s accomplishments in 2018 are remarkable but Watt has been just as good this season. Watt is in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year and he should win the award because of his impact to the Texans’ defense this season.
Do you agree with my case? Feel free to comment in section below.
Interested in writing for Locked on Texans? Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]
Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans
Brian and Robert say goodbye to Locked on Texans. After 540 episodes, we bid a tearful farewell to Houston Texans faithful, reminisce about our tenure and share some final thoughts on the Houston Texans future.
Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season
The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.
The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.
DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.
While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.
Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.
In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.
His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.
An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.
The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.
What do you think? Feel free to comment in the section below.
Interested in writing for Locked On Texans? Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]
Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses
What are the Houston Texans biggest weaknesses going into the 2019 off season? Rob and Brian bring on State of the Texans’ BigRon to discuss what needs to be done to fix a team that has tons of potential to be dominant. What’s the best way to improve the offensive line? Is Julién Davenport still worth developing and what should we expect to see in additional development?
How about the thought of shifting Greg Mancz to center and Nick Martin to guard? The trio also discusses the future of Whitney Mercilus on the roster as well as certain defensive lineman not getting enough playing time. What else? Take a listen to find out more!
Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs
What’s the best way for the Houston Texans to fix the running backs position for the 2019 season? They certainly can do better than bringing back Alfred Blue. Rob and Brian talk about what the team needs to do and gives their top free agent running backs to help this offense flourish. Is bringing in Le’Veon Bell a possibility? Can the Houston Texans get the back they want in this season’s draft?
The duo discusses that plus gives their thoughts of Indianapolis Colts’ firing offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the interesting back story that likely factored into the move. Plus, Gary Kubiak finds a new job in the NFL. What else? Take a listen to find out more!