J.J. Watt has built an all-time great legacy with the Houston Texans.
The Houston Texans drafted J.J. Watt back in 2011 in the first round, and since then he’s been the premier defensive end in the league as he was dominant enough to win three Defensive Player of the Year awards.
The Cleveland Browns drafted Myles Garrett, also a defensive end, back in 2017 with the first pick overall, and in limited action, when on the field he’s become a dominant force while in the trenches and rushing the quarterback.
Watt is in his 10th season in the league with the numbers that will one day see his bust in Canton next to the best of the best defensive ends like Reggie White, Bruce Smith and Deacon Jones, to name just three.
Garrett is current in the midst of his best season yet in year four with the Browns, and we’re all most likely seeing him break down the walls so to speak, and the best is yet to come from maybe the best draft selection the Browns have made since rejoining the league back in 1999.
In Watt’s first four seasons (2011-14), he won two of his AP Defensive Player of the Year awards, and his third one came in his fifth season. Currently, Garrett could be in the driver’s seat to win his first DPOY award if he keeps up his current pace of dominant play for the remainder of the 2020 NFL season.
Next, let’s look at how Watt and Garrett compare with each other in their first four seasons as the two players will be in the same stadium this Sunday when the Texans face the Browns in Week 10 AFC action.
4. J.J. Watt vs. Myles Garrett: Forced fumbles is an undervalued stat
The Houston Texans had unbelievable production from J.J. Watt in his first four seasons when it comes to forced fumbles. In those four seasons, Watt played in every game possible and collected 12 forced fumbles in those four seasons, and that included zero as a rookie.
Watt then came back in his second through fourth seasons and had four forced fumbles each.
Myles Garrett has played in 45 out of a possible 56 games in his first four seasons with the Browns, as he’s played in all eight games thus far in 2020, while he played in 11 games as a rookie, followed by 16 games in year two and 10 games last season.
In those four seasons, Garrett has 10 forced fumbles so far, including four this season, which is his career-high. Last season before his suspension cost him six games, Garrett had two forced fumbles, and in the only season so far he’s played all 16 games, the Browns defensive end had three forced fumbles in ’18. As a rookie, Garrett had one forced fumble.
So with eight games left in his fourth season, Garrett has a real shot of surpassing the forced fumble numbers by Watt, but either way both players should be cheered for their success in this undervalued stat.