Houston Texans: J.J. Watt will rebound against Jaguars
The season opener for Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt wasn’t up to his standards, but Week 2 will be a whole different story for the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
It may or may not be going out on a limb, but there is no way that Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt will be held without a tackle or a sack on Sunday in Week 2 action against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The noon (CT) start for the Texans, at home, against the Jaguars will be a unique test for the Texans defense. They don’t have much to go on when it comes to rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew as this will be his first NFL start, and last Sunday was his NFL debut, so there is a lot of unknown about Minshew, and how the Texans defense will defend them.
Last season in two games vs. Jacksonville, Watt totaled five tackles, 1.5 sacks and one pass defensed.
In a tweet provided by the Texans PR account says the veteran defensive end has 13 sacks when facing a rookie quarterback in the past 10 games. The tweet also says the Texans are 9-1 in those games as well, so my thought is this is just one of the reasons that Watt won’t be held without a sack on Sunday.
There is also the fact now the Texans know how teams will be defending Watt in the regular season without having former Texans pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney on his side, as was the case in Week 1.
In that game, the New Orleans Saints double-teamed and game-planned around stopping Watt first-and-foremost, forcing others on the Texans to make plays against one of the best offenses in the league.
Teams this season are going to make the rest of the Texans defense surrounding Watt beat them just like the Saints after seeing that film. Even with the focus being on Watt week-in and week-out, he’s coming off a season where he recorded 16 sacks, which is the fourth most sacks he’s had in a season in his now nine-year career, so the talent and skill is still there.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said earlier this week (in transcripts provided by the Texans) the following about how the Saints played Watt on Monday Night Football in Week 1:
"“He affects the game in so many different ways. I mean, when draws two or three blockers, or he got some quarterback pressures. They looked like they ran the ball away from him quite a bit. So, I think that they did a good job, give them credit, but I also think that he still impacted the game.”"
Whether or not Watt affected the game in other ways than showing up on the stat sheet, he has to be motivated to get more pressure on the quarterback in some way. He has to be motivated not only for his own personal gain, but for the team to win in Week 2, and Watt is always motivated for the team.
Watt needs to be making tackles and putting pressure on the opposing quarterback for the Texans to gain victories. Proof of that was last week where the defense struggled, and the team lost to the Saints when he was held without any stats. That won’t happen this week.