The Texans looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL for the majority of the first half of the season. Their only wins through Week 7 were over the Bucs in Jameis Winston’s third game and the goddamn Jaguars. The team was embroiled in the dumbest quarterback controversy ever between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer, and Arian Foster had just torn his Achilles. Enter J.J. Watt.
In the past five games, Watt has 9.5 sacks and 24 tackles, and the rest of the defense has rallied around him and moved into the top 10 on yards allowed per play. Since the ignominious blowout loss to Miami in Week 7, the Texans have allowed just 35 points in four games. Today, they hosted the Saints and extinguished them with ease 24-6, Drew Brees and all. Brees has been impressive all year, but today he threw a pick, no touchdowns, and went only 25/44 with 255 yards. It was a historic performance.
This streak was the second best touchdown streak of all time.
Watt hit Brees seven times today, and his 13.5 sacks on the year put him right about on pace for a third-straight 20-sack season. He’s regained the terrifying form that saw him lead the Texans to wins all on his own last season, and in this year’s trash-as-hell AFC South, that might be good for a playoff berth.
With today’s win, the Texans tied the Colts atop the division at 6-5. Both teams have, let’s say, limited quarterbacks. Bill O’Brien has his pick between Brian Hoyer and T.J. Yates, while the Colts are led by Matt Hasselbeck, who is older than the Magna Carta. Both teams now run a lot, but are are reliant on offensive lines that struggle with run blocking.
But only one of these teams has J.J. Watt, and if he continues to improve within the season, he’ll be enough.
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