Did JJ Watt have the worst game of his career during loss to Saints?
Those who watched Monday night’s thriller of a game between the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints may have noticed that JJ Watt’s name was barely mentioned, and there was apparently a good reason for that.
Watt may have done a solid job of absorbing blockers and opening up opportunities for teammates, but he was completely absent on the stat sheet. In fact, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year failed to record a single tackle or quarterback hit for the first time in his professional career.
In tonight's loss to the Saints, J.J. Watt failed to record at least 1 tackle or 1 QB hit for the first time in 105 career games.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 10, 2019
That will likely end up being an anomaly for Watt, but it’s fair to wonder if the lack of production had anything to do with the absence of Jadeveon Clowney.
Now that Clowney — a three-time Pro Bowler — has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks, Watt is bound to see a lot more double-teams. He was able to overcome that early in his career, but he’s not the same explosive player he was five years ago. Clowney’s presence made it so offenses couldn’t focus as much attention on Watt, and it will be worth monitoring to see if opposing teams have an easier time keeping Watt contained now.
Of course, Watt has also battled numerous significant injuries over the past few seasons, so those could be taking their toll. Whatever the case, we doubt there will be many more games where Watt is held without a sack or QB hit. That doesn’t mean he’ll go back to being his old, QB-terrorizing self, either.