Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Texans' Watt comes up big vs. Jets
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- J.J. Watt claims the Houston Texans’ defense isn’t a one-man show.
Stop being so modest, J.J.
In the Texans' 23-17 victory over the New York Jets on Monday night, the 23-year-old defensive end stuffed the stat sheet, recording six tackles, a sack and two batted passes -- one of which was a game-changer.
Playing in just his second NFL season, Watt leads the league with 8.5 sacks and five batted passes, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“It’s kind of scary that we’ve come to expect it out of him, because he’s doing it every week and he’s been consistent with it,” Texans tight end Owen Daniels said. “He’s been ballin’ and hopefully he keeps on doing that.”
If he does, Watt might have a shot at not only winning Defensive Player of the Year, but league MVP as well.
ESPN analyst Jon Gruden has called Watt “the best player at any position I have watched on tape this year.”
Said Houston coach Gary Kubiak: “He’s exceptional.”
It only took one play to see that.
The Jets appeared as though they were going to tie the score at 14 late in the first half, but Watt got his hand on a Mark Sanchez pass and Brice McCain intercepted it. McCain took it back 86 yards to set up a field goal as time expired. The Texans never relinquished their 17-7 halftime lead.
“I wasn’t getting a great pass rush on that play, so I stuck my hand up, tipped the ball, it went right to Brice and he almost took it all the way,” Watt said. “That’s a big play. They were about to get points, and then we get points.”
Watt also got his hands on a third-quarter Sanchez pass that would’ve ended up in the arms of Chaz Schilens for a touchdown. Instead, the Jets had to settle for a field goal.
“You can’t throw it over my head!” Watt was seen yelling after the game. “I was excited, in the moment, and it was a great way to end the game.”
It wasn’t easy, but the Texans are now 5-0. And they have that undefeated record because Watts is leading the way on D.
“That’s a tough football team over there," Watt said, "and it shows a lot of character about our team that we can go into a tough environment up here in New York and win a ballgame that goes all the way down to the end.”