J.J. Watt’s legendary career lands him on All-Decade Team

J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans was selected to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2010s.

When one thinks of J.J. Watt and his tenure with the Houston Texans, terms that quickly come to mind most likely are domination, captain, success, intense, entertainer, MVP and even future Hall of Famer. Those types of descriptions, titles and accolades all are great ways think of Watt, but the latest way — member of the 2010s NFL All-Decade Team — is just as exciting.

Watt was one of 52 players who were named to the prestigious list this week, as former Houston Texans (and Oakland Raiders) punter Shane Lechler was also named to the All-Decade Team alongside Watt. Also Tyrann Mathieu, who played one season with the Texans (2018) also made the team as he played most of his career with the Arizona Cardinals and this past season with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Now for J.J. Watt, where does one start in describing how important the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been for the Houston Texans as a franchise in general? There is no doubt Watt is the face of the franchise, the most successful player in franchise history, and one day will be honored in Canton with some of the other players named to this All-Decade team as well.

Watt joined the Texans as a first-round pick back near the start of the decade in 2011, and that rookie season he collected 48 solo tackles, 5.5 sacks, and even had four pass deflections. Then from years two-through-five in the league, Watt became one of the very best to ever play in the NFL.

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The Wisconsin native made his mark in Houston as his second season season included 20.5 sacks, 69 solo tackles and 16 pass deflections, earning him Defensive Player of the Year honors. J.J. Watt followed that season with 10.5 sacks and 65 solo tackles (along with seven pass deflections) in 2013. For some that is a career year, and though it was a drop on the stat sheets, Watt was far from finished.

In 2014, Watt was back to destroying all challengers in front of him with 20.5 sacks, 10 passes defensed, one safety, his first career interception, and for good measure he collected 59 solo tackles. Watt, again, earned the DPOY honor from The Associated Press.

Watt’s aforementioned interception was an 80-yard return for a touchdown. Also that season, Watt played some offense with the Houston Texans, having three receptions for four yards, but all three receptions were touchdowns.

Now to the 2015 season as it included a third DPOY honor for J.J. Watt. The ’15 season for Watt included 57 solo tackles, 17.5 sacks and eight passes defensed. Those four seasons are basically best seasons of Watt’s career.

Anyone would be very hard-pressed to find a four-year span of play from any defensive end that matches up to how dominant Watt was on the field, and how much he meant and still means to the Texans.

Watt had two years with unfortunate injuries, but in 2018 he made a comeback with the dominant Watt returning to the scene. That season Watt finished with 47 solo tackles, 16 sacks and four passes defensed. It was also another season-long performance that led the Texans to a playoff berth. This past season, Watt was injured midway through the season, where he totaled four sacks, but Watt has been a member of the Texans for each of the six AFC South titles won in franchise history.


In Watt’s “Decade of Domination,” he’s compiled career numbers of 112 regular-season games played, 372 solo tackles, 96 sacks, one safety, one interception and 54 passes defensed.

J.J. Watt is about to start his 10th season in the league, so it is going to be very interesting to see which version of Watt the Texans will see, because if he is healthy Watt can still play at a high level, because for his entire career there are very few who have been better than he has been.

There has been no player who has been better wearing a Texans uniform than J.J. Watt, plus he is the first Texans player to be selected to any All-Decade team, as the franchise played their first game in 2002.

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J.J. Watt is more than deserving of this honor, as he’ll be in the Texans’ Ring of Honor one day. If Watt stays healthy, who knows what else can accomplish, but being on an All-Decade team shows just how great of a player he’s been for his career.