AFC South: Leonard Marshall

Breaking down J.J. Watt's play

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
3:48
PM ET
Earlier this week, we pointed to a radio interview with J.J. Watt where he expressed enthusiasm for moving around a great deal on Wade Phillips’ defensive front.

John McTigue of Stats and Info, apparently a dedicated reader of the AFC South blog, reached out with an email that spelled out details of where exactly Watt has lined up this season.

While we talk about the Texans as a 3-4, we need to remember it winds up with a four-man front in most nickel situations. So Watt is technically inside quite a bit, with 34 percent of his snaps coming inside.

Breaking down his numbers is a constant source of fun:

Since sacks became official for individuals in 1982, Watt is the 39th player to notch 10 though his team’s first eight games. The unique thing abut it is his age -- he is just the third to do so before turning 24. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila in 2001 and Leonard Marshall in 1985 did it when they were 23 years old, like Watt has.

Watt has recorded at least a half sack, a half tackle for loss or a batted/tipped pass on 30 plays this season, 12 more than the next highest defender (Von Miller, 18). Watt has already exceeded his totals in all three categories from last season.

He’s first in the NFL in sacks with 10.5, first with nine batted/tipped passes and third with 8.5 tackles for a loss.

He’s showing no signs of slowing down, and there are mismatches to be found on a Chicago offensive line that’s been a source of some problems. Bears have allowed 28 sacks of Jay Cutler.

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