Houston Texans: Why Will Anderson Jr. is the defensive X factor in week 2

Houston Texans
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The Houston Texans' defense had its share of promising moments in their week one matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. One such player that impressed was rookie edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. 

The rookie posted a sack on Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson early in the fourth quarter, adding six total tackles and one for loss. The noteworthy performance from the rookie hyped-up head coach DeMeco Ryans and significantly raised his stock. 

Looking ahead to the Texans' week two matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, the pass rush will be a key factor in the quest for victory. Anderson Jr. is a big part of that fold and arguably one of the more important players in that respect. 

The 22-year-old was a force to be reckoned with during his time with the Alabama Crimson Tide. In 41 collegiate contests, Anderson Jr. had 34.5 sacks, 58.5 tackles for loss, and 204 total tackles, routinely using his athleticism and game-changing speed to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. 

These athletic gifts were a huge catalyst for Anderson Jr. being the third overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Through one week against an NFL-caliber offense, an instant impact is being made. 

Simply put, when the Houston Texans traded back up for Anderson Jr., they did so with the hope of an immediate impact. The rookie shoulders the expectation of being the main guy for the Texans pass rush, and a leader by example early on. 

Based on his week one performance, Anderson Jr. is well on his way to becoming a dominant player at the position, and a primary catalyst for this young Texans front. For any hope of a Texans victory, they need Anderson Jr. to continue building on that week one performance and let the league know that he is here to stay.

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