Dec 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) reacts with cornerback Kareem Jackson (25) during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Defensively, Houston is already in the top of the league. Defensive end J.J. Watt was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, and according to some he could have been the league MVP. Watt not only leads his defense, but the team as a whole, along with being one of the NFL’s most exciting players to watch. He’s only 26, and should have many great years of football ahead of him.
Led by Watt, Houston was a top 6 defense in terms of defensive efficiency rating in 2014 according to Football Outsiders, and did nothing but improve this offseason. They re-signed a few key players, added some great pieces in safety Rahim Moore and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Also, 2014 defensive line draft picks Jadeveon Clowney and Louis Nix III should develop into key performers this next season.
In this season’s draft, Houston also picked up two players who have a shot at contributing immediately. Cornerback Kevin Johnson, taken in the first round, can help the team greatly and give them depth in the defensive backfield.
Linebacker Benardrick McKinney should help stop the run up the middle, and also add depth to the already talented defense. All of these players are very young and only touching the edge of their potential, and with proper coaching could develop into real stars.
The beauty of Houston’s offensive moves is in the fact that they were already very talented, and have only made themselves better. In my opinion Houston has a shot at having the league’s best defense this season, provided all of their key players stay healthy. Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has to be thrilled with all of the toys he has to play with, and the production his players are likely to have.
This unit, like the offense, is comprised of a lot of very young players, with quite a lot of potential. It also has some excellent veteran experience with the likes of Vince Wilfork, JJ Watt, and cornerback Johnathan Joseph. This combination of youth and experience should be great for Houston going forward.
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