Houston Texans: J.J. Watt and big expectations for 2020

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

J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans should have some big expectations going into the 2020 NFL season.

Entering his 10th season in the league — all with the Houston Texans — J.J. Watt is still one of the very best defensive ends and best pass rushers off the edge in the entire league. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year in his storied career, but lately in three of the past four seasons he’s lost long term game time due to injuries.

Watt missed half the regular season last year due to a torn pectoral muscle, and when he returned for the playoffs he wasn’t the same player he’s been in the past. That is all in the past, and now it is time to look forward to 2020 and what this upcoming season can hold for Watt.

J.J. Watt has been all over social media this offseason in showcasing his workouts, as he’s been working to become the player he was when he was on the field for an entire season.

In an recent interview, Watt said he feels as good now as he did back in 2014-15, and if that is the case, the opponents of the Houston Texans need to watch out. Back in that point of time Watt was “The Man” and was nearly unstoppable as he was on his way to win DPOY honors.

ESPN staff writer Sarah Barshop quoted J.J. Watt about the upcoming season in a recent article, with Watt saying the following:

"“It truly has been one of the best offseasons from a workout standpoint that I’ve ever had, and I’m very, very pleased about it. My body feels as good as it has felt since probably 2014, 2015, somewhere around there. So I’m really looking forward to getting into camp and just getting to work …”"

Think about this, if Watt says his body feels as good as it did over five years ago when he was the top defensive end in all of football that is extremely great news for the Texans as the 2020 season nears. Also for J.J. Watt and the Texans, there is no preseason, meaning there is a less chance of him being injured, though Watt wouldn’t have been in those games anyway.

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If J.J. Watt is able to be the player he was over five years ago that would be a very tall task as winning three Defensive Player of the Year awards in a four-year span isn’t easy by any means. In those award winning seasons Watt collected 58.5 sacks with two seasons of 20.5 sacks, and one season of 17.5. Even just as amazing in those three seasons Watt totaled 134 QB hits.

The issue with that is Watt is coming off a season where his torn pectoral muscle cost him eight regular season games, finishing the regular season with just four sacks, but he did have 21 QB hits in those same eight games in 2019.

Will Watt have another 20.5 sack season, that is tough to say because it is so hard for any player to have such a high total. That said, if there is a player who can return from an injury that cost him eight games and be a great player again it is J.J. Watt.

Watt was just recently voted 45th overall in the NFL Top 100 by his peers entering the 2020 season. Last year in the same list for the NFL Top 100 Watt was voted 12th overall, so maybe J.J. Watt will be using that as motivation once the 2020 season kicks off. If he does … opposing offensive linemen and quarterbacks are in for a long season.

When the 2020 NFL season actually begins a healthy Watt is exactly what the Houston Texans defense needs, and it is what J.J. Watt needs too. He’s one of the greatest to ever play the game and is the greatest player to ever wear a Texans uniform, so seeing him have success is always exciting.

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Watt has some unfinished business left for 2020, and the opponents of the Texans need to be fully aware if he’s healthy and feeling as good as he was around five years ago, Watt will be a very dangerous player this upcoming season.