The Houston Texans may have lost a close game to the Indianapolis Colts last night, but they’re quickly getting a full return on investment in the $100 million deal they gave to defensive lineman J.J. Watt in the off-season.
It was another highlight reel night for Watt, who spent most of his time harassing Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the backfield and batting down passes. Despite his efforts, the Texans found themselves on the losing end of a 32-28 battle after a drive with less than two minutes in regulation ended on a Ryan Fitzpatrick fumble that was recovered by Indianapolis to end what could have been a game winning drive.
“It’s a tough loss; it is frustrating,” said Watt. “But I really don’t think that it’s – it’s definitely not time to panic. There is no doubt about that. It’s not time to panic. The way this team fights, and the way that these guys battle, and the way we go out there and we give what we have. We just can’t give teams 24 points to start a game.”
He’s right – it’s on the rest of the team to start producing the way J.J. has this year. Watt has scored three touchdowns: an interception returned for 80 yards, a fumble recovery last night that went 45 yards and a receiving touchdown on offense. The last time a defensive lineman scored three touchdowns in a season was in 1985 by Chicago’s William “The Refrigerator” Perry.
Without Watt, The Texans are not a very good team. With Watt, Houston should be able to squeak its way into the playoffs. But after last night’s loss, the team sits at 3-3. Watt continues to find ways to make impact plays on both sides of the ball in a way that no one in the NFL has quite seen before. But he can only do so much. The Texans used the number one overall pick in the 2014 draft on Jadeveon Clowney, but with Clowney being injured more often than he is healthy, the onus has remained on Watt to carry the team.
While Watt’s continuing to play at a MVP level, mistakes by the offense have also doomed the Texans. At some point, Houston will need to do more to find impact players on the offensive side of the ball to compliment the work that the defense is doing.