J.J. Watt felt good after playing in his first game in almost a year, which is great news for the Texans defense.
It’s been a long year of waiting, not just for Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, but for Texans fans as well. What started out to be a promising 2017 season last year ended in epic disappoint after Watt suffered a broken leg in October, and then rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice in November.
Both players were done for the year, and with that, essentially so was the Texans season.
Now, Watt has his sights set on getting Houston back into the hunt in 2018, competing in what should be a very tough AFC South division. Watt got a little action during Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams, which was his first appearance in a football game since his injury against the Kansas City Chiefs back on Oct. 5.
It was a small sample size against the Rams, and mostly against backups as neither quarterback Jared Goff or running back Todd Gurley played, but the important thing was that Watt was able to get comfortable playing in an NFL game again after almost a year away. Though he only played a few short series, Watt felt very good about where he’s at, and that’s huge for this Texans defense that has a chance to be one of the best in the league.
“I wanted to get in on tackling, I wanted to have to pop back up, get back to the huddle, play another play, go off to the sideline, get a series and get another series,” Watt said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “You just want to get those little intricacies of the game that you don’t get in practice so that the first time you see it is not New England. I’m glad we got that in. It felt good.”
The defensive unit features players like Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus and newcomer Tyrann Mathieu, and if they stay healthy, Houston’s defense will feast on opposing offenses this year. We’ll get a look at just how dominant they can be in Week 1, as they open up the regular season with a huge test against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars had the best defense in the league, but with a fully healthy Watt, the Texans might just push their division rival for that title in 2018.