12 Things to Watch for in Sunday's Colts-Texans Game
What does this have to do with anything?
It has been a couple of weeks since the Colts stunned the world with a brilliant win over the Broncos, and the NFL is going to make us wait just a few extra hours for their return. They return to prime time with a key divisional matchup against the Houston Texans. Here's what to watch for.
1. Watch for the Case. In one of the worst coaching moves in recent history, Gary Kubiak has decided to go with Case Keenum as his starting quarterback over an ostensibly healthy Matt Schaub. It's a total panic move and evidence that Kubiak is shaky coach at best. 14 months ago, the Texans invested ridiculous money in Schaub. Since last Thanksgiving, he's inexplicably become terrible. An injury opened the door for Keenum, and something in his play convinced the head coach to start him against the Colts. What that is, I have no idea. In the second half of the game, he completed six passes and took five sacks. His raw numbers weren't bad against Kansas City, but they were also inflated by a few long gains on short passes. Six of his completions went for more than 25 yards each and made up 201 of his 277 yards passing. There's no indication that he's the present or the future of anything. Starting Keenum is a complete panic move by Kubiak and illustrates that the 2013 Texans are going nowhere.
2. Watch for the birthright. With only brief interruptions, the Colts have dominated the AFC South since its inception, winning seven of 11 possible titles. For the last two seasons the Texans have hung the banner. However with their cap situation bleak once again, and injuries mounting to key players, the Colts can reclaim the title. The Texans were Super Bowl contenders as late as Week 17 of last year, but the window has slammed shut. Houston has an aging roster, cap concerns, instability at quarterback and an increasingly disgruntled fan base. This is a good test for a young Colts team looking to build credibility. Beating Seattle, San Francisco and Denver was awesome, but when you can go on the road in the division and stomp the life out of the defending champion's season, that's when you know you've arrived in the NFL.
3. Watch the best defensive player of your lifetime. If you were born after 1990, J.J. Watt is the best defensive player of your lifetime. Lawrence Taylor, the best defender of my lifetime, had his final Pro Bowl season in 1990. Since then several players have been great, but Watt is an unprecedented force. He is simultaneously the best run defender and the best pass defender in football. Last season, he destroyed the Colts' offensive line in the first game, though they played better in the second. Whether you like the classic eye test or are more statistically inclined, Watt is just a freak of nature. PFF grades him at +44.5. How good is that? Peyton Manning gets a +22.3. That's how good he is. No matter how good you think he is, he's better.
4. Watch the force to be reckoned with. Andre Johnson has 1,275 yards in his career against the Colts in 17 games. It feels like double that. Just last year alone he put up 292 yards and 23 catches in the two contests. In the first game against Houston, he put a complete clown suit on Vontae Davis. Injuries and playing for a bad team have kept fans from realizing how great this guy is, but his best career comp is Larry Fitzgerald. Davis has been stellar this year, but taking down Johnson will be a new level of accomplishment.
5. Watch the big question. I've saved this one for point five because you all knew it was coming. What are the Colts going to do without Reggie Wayne? It has been the primary discussion point for two weeks now, so I'm not going to belabor it here. The Colts will win the division without Wayne. They could win 12 games this year without Wayne in half of them. They aren't going far in the playoffs, however, unless they figure out a way to generate his production from the passing game. The fact is that by not taking a wideout in the first round this year, the front office left the team vulnerable. The Colts knew that Wayne couldn't play forever, and not only did they ignore the position in the draft, but they traded away their best hope to get one in the next draft for a running back. So the future has become the present, and the coaching staff had better come up with answer quick.
6. Watch the run-based offense. No, for once I'm not talking about the Colts. I'm talking about their philosophical Doppelganger the Texans. Houston's run-based attack relies heavily on two players who are seriously compromised. Arian Foster has spent all week nursing a hamstring and Ben Tate has cracked ribs. Both are going to be late, even game-time, decisions. Houston offense is similar to Indy's in the passing routes, but their run blocking scheme is totally different, depending on a zone technique. It hasn't been good this year in general, so that's a plus for an Indy defense that still doesn't stop the run well.
7. Watch the whiniest fans in the division. Texans fans are the most oversensitive fans I dealt with in my time covering the AFC. Jaguars fans are insular and defensive, though it's hard to blame them. Titans fans were the most pessimistic. Indy fans were by far the most irrationally exuberant about their team. But no one topped the Texans fans' ability to take offense at anything remotely negative about their squad. At first I thought it was just me, but then watching the way they turned on Schaub, I suspect it's a weird Texas thing. Houston fans have unreasonable expectations for their team. They don't take kindly to anyone pointing out real flaws. Then they freak when it turns out the squad isn't quite as good as they thought. I found our interactions distasteful. Now I have to put in the obligatory disclaimer that not all fans are any one way and there are all types of people and this is just a broad generalization blah blah blah. You'd think all that would be obvious. Then why do I have to say that? Because I've dealt with Texans fans before.
8. Watch for the judgment. I've been a little critical of the Trent Richardson trade. I admit it. No, the early returns haven't been good. Still, after the bye week, he's had six weeks with the team. That's longer than training camp and the preseason. Whatever he's going to be for the Colts in 2013, he's going to be starting now. There can be no more excuses about how "he doesn't know the offense". He's had time. Even his biggest defenders have to grant that by now we should begin to see "the real Trent Richardson". Personally, I don't feel comfortable entering 2014 with Richardson as the starting running back. I don't think he's a quality player. He's got nine games to prove me wrong. A fair standard of production would be 585 yards and a 4.0 YPC, a success rate of 50 percent and a zero DVOA. Those aren't fantastic numbers, but they would assuage my worst fears.
9. Watch for the soft gooey middle. Remember the brutal mid-season stretch that would make or break the Colts? Well, the Colts aren't quite through gauntlet yet, but suddenly things look a lot softer schedule-wise. Not only are the Texans potentially terrible, but Indy has the easiest schedule in football over the final nine weeks.There are a lot of games like this Houston game against teams that the Colts should be able to take, assuming they really are one of the best teams in the NFL. Remember the Manning-era Colts: the wins over the weaker teams don't always have to be pretty, but as long as they win, all is well. It would be nice to see the Colts play dominant football, but this is a young team that has to learn to keep focus and take care of business week in and week out. There is no reason they should finish with fewer than 11 wins at this point.
10. Watch for Battle Red Day Presented by Halliburton. Presented without comment. Ok, one comment: I always try to throw a joke or two into Eyes in the Backfield, right? Well, I couldn't write a Houston joke better than that one. Oh, and to explain the picture above... I find Case Keenum's name impossible to deal with. It's a cross between Stoney Case and Kasey Kasem. All I can remember about it is that it's Case or Casey or brief case. I think "Houston's QB" and all that comes to mind is a detective. But not a real detective like Sherlock Holmes. No, more of a folksy wise-cracking down home guy like Jim Rockford. I hear Case Keeneum and my mind goes blank, flooded with the theme song of the Rockford Files. Gotta tell you, it's not entirely unpleasant. I hope he keeps the job for years to come. Now if you'll excuse me..whee woo, wee woo wee-ee--ee-ooo...
11. Watch the watch. With Andrew Luck vaulting up the MVP charts after Indy's big win, keep in mind the Colts play a brutal run of pass defenses down the stretch. Luck may yet win big hardware before his career is over, but his MVP odds are basically nil for 2013. This is the opposite of 2008 when eight weeks in, people laughed at the idea that Peyton Manning could win the MVP. You could see it coming a mile away, however, because of who the Colts were playing. The 2013 Colts will win a lot of games, but without Wayne, there's little chance Luck puts up the big numbers necessary to get the prize.
12. Watch for the stranglehold. This game has "San Diego debacle" written all over it. This feels like the kind of game the Colts should lose if Houston has any life in them at all. My head says the Colts are the better team by a wide margin. My heart senses danger. My head goes back to point one and picks Indianapolis. Colts 19 Texans 13
With the way Shaun has been playing, I think the Texas want to see what Keenum can do. I think it's a bad move as well but it's no worse than starting Schaub. Seattle signed Flynn to a large contract then he sat behind a rookie so Houston going all in isn't justification to keep him as a starter when he's played so poorly.
I'm sure you understand that 6 weeks during the season is absolutely not the same as 6 weeks in training camp. If u know anything about the NFL whatsoever, you know that learning a play book of over 200 concepts in the passing game alone is best done in the offseason. During the season you're spending Each week learning and preparing for the next opponent, not learning the play book so saying something like Treat has had time to learn the play book in 6 weeks DURING the season is something I'd expect from someone that doesn't know the NFL, not you.
I like JJ Watt too, but the greatest defensive player of a lifetime after two and half seasons. Please two and a half seasons does not make a career.
Thanks for taking a deep breath on TRich (T3p0, or hopefully TDVOA0). I now see the trade as more of a panic move with Vick out and Bradshaw's neck wonky, but I am holding out hope. I wonder if he's the starter next year--I kind of picture a 2-way rotation with Vick and Donald on the back-burner, but knowing one or two will always be hampered by some kind of injury, having four RBs is probably smart (given the offense they want to run). The fact that only one of them is a proven 90 yards per game guy, and he's the most injury-prone, might be an issue. We'll see. Weird to be hoping for a DVOA of zero. Let's hope he at least breaks that plane. DVOA of 1%?
I love watching Watt, just not when he's facing the Colts. Damn!
I think Keenum is the right move in Houston because I think Schaub's done. He'll make a fine backup for a few years,and then retire to the announcer's booth. They'll have to rejigger the contract. I think the team, staff, and most importantly, Schaub himself, have lost confidence in him--at least Keenum provides a spark and maybe a glimmer of what next year might bring--get the kid experience, kick his tires, maybe win a few. If he's as bad as you think, then they know what they'll have to do in 2014 (draft/trade). If he shows promise, they may stick with him and try to build momentum from this year to next. It's sprinkling some water on the dumpster fire, whereas putting Schaub back in would be sprinkling kerosene on the fire.
Can't wait to see Tate get hit. I cracked my ribs playing flag football in grad school (we were a rough crowd) and for a few weeks, I woke up 20 times a night whenever I rolled over. It was like I had two bodies, one normal, one just waiting to scream whenever I moved wrong. Everything was perfectly normal until I reached for a doorknob, or a pencil, or pivoted to face somebody. I assume Tate's injury is worse than mine and getting hit by Redding hurts a lot more than brushing your teeth.
19-13 is a peculiar score, but looks about right, maybe a little low.
I had to click on the link and go listen to the Rockford Files theme. What a great show. Did you notice that the theme tries to make it cover pretty much all generations / genres?
First you have the then-sounding-techno synth sound, then you have back-woodsy harmonica, then you have the driving rock-guitar-pentatonic soloing - and finally you have the horns and floor-tom and kettle drums for the baby-boomers. Sort of covers it all!
For the Texans theme song, I'd say a jaw-harp and a slide-whistle.
Very nice as always. I like the "Case Keenum" FBI sound too.
Personally I am excited to see how the Colts look without Wayne just because of the novelty factor. Of course if they can't pass the ball in critical situations, especially on the 3rd down I will get rapidly deflated and may come to regret the feeling I have now.
As always, great job Nate. I think one of you guys should write a piece titled "Who are those guys?" About our D because that's who we should all be watching. It has double meaning. You could say they're like the posse in Butch Cassidy, relentless until they force you to jump off a cliff. Or you could take it as - which D will show up, the one that played Denver or the one that played SD.
Do we really know yet? Who are those guys?
Wow! I never realized Watt was graded twice as highly as Manning. If he wasn't in the AFC South I'd feel bad for the guy being team that missed its chance.
"Case Keenum". You have to say it, in your head, in Sam Elliot's voice from those truck commercials.
The MVP award is a bit of a joke; it's turned into nothing more than a stats-popularity contest, and has basically nothing to do with actual *value* (as the 2012 MVP demonstrated, in spades). That MVP voters are too dumb and/or lazy to realize what constitutes actual *value* only causes me to devalue the award itself. (Seriously? Adrian Peterson? League MVP, playing for a team that barely sneaked into the playoffs?)
The irony is: as with last year, the Colts' record rides squarely on Andrew Luck's shoulders. If the Colts continue to win with Wayne on IR, it only further proves that Luck is the Colts' MVP - regardless of passing statistics. At least this year, Manning will win the MVP, and that choice will make sense. Andrew Luck will quietly lead the Colts on a Playoff run, and Colts fans will know his value to the team, regardless of hardware.
Also: I'm not as worried about the long-term state of the receiving corps. Wayne will be back next year; the Colts have lots of young talent in Hilton, Brazil, Allen, and Fleener; and maybe lightning will strike and DHB will turn into a reliable receiver. If Whalen can be Collie-light, even better (and right now, that's the on-the-field role that Wayne was filling and that now needs to be replaced).
The Colts have a couple of years before they *have* to start upgrading/replacing their receivers.
@clholland83 They should already know Keenum isn't an NFL caliber starter. They are giving up on Schaub just 15 months after locking him in as the franchise QB and screwing their cap to do it. That's insane. Schaub isn't Flynn. He was a leading MVP candidate through 10 weeks last year. He was a top-10 level QB in the league not very long ago, so unless they know about a secret injury, giving up on him is uncalled for.
As for Richardson, the issue isn't whether camp time is the same as season time, but rather how long it takes to learn the holes on the runs designed for him.
There's no excuse for his terrible play. He's not missing holes because he doesn't know where they are. He's missing them because he's a mediocre running back.
I don't expect him to improve with time, because I don't think he's a quality football player.
@lucktab Doesn't have to. No one has ever played at this level since Taylor in 84. There's no precedent for it.
@Bobman1 If I thought Keenum was any good, I'd agree. But they really went all in with Schaub. Now they are folding. That's hard for me to justify after what amounts to a few bad weeks.
@chip_bennett Re: Receivers. I have to disagree. It usually takes a year or two for even a first round pick to turn into a top player. Plus picking a talented first round guy last year or this year would have allowed him to work with Wayne. The FO might get a WR in the second round in this draft, but then he will be either a smaller guy (like TY) or quite raw needing even more time to develop.
As for the value of a WR, have you seen Green, Jones, Johnson, Bryant or any of the other really talented guys play? They can take over a game more effectively than any RB. With Luck throwing the ball someone like that (or even a step down) would be awe inspiring.
@chip_bennett Of course, the problem with "value" is that it's subjective. Mind-blowing stats, on the other hand, are hard to argue with. But in the case you mention, there were both. Would the Vikings have made the playoffs last year without AP? Surely not...and that counts as value: the difference between a successful season for the Vikes and an unsuccessful one. When you couple that with those stats--the whole thing seems hard to argue, as far as I can see.
The MVP shouldn't HAVE to come from a championship-caliber team to count as being valuable.
As for the Colts' receiving corps: one thing the Reggie Wayne injury shows is that you can never have enough wideouts.
@Nate Dunlevy oh wow. Are you seriously going to sit up here and dumb down the RB position to just getting the ball and hitting the hole???? And here I am trying to give you credit for knowing the game off football. Do you not understand on some plays he has to wait until an assigned lineman pulls from the other side of the line and gets to the hole first, sometimes he has to delay and give the appearance of pass first? He's not hitting the hole because over 50% of the time the hole is blown up before he gets to it. In the Denver game alone, 71% of the time, he had to make cuts because the hole was was already blown up. No one is making excuses, we're just pointing out facts that you bloggers seem to want to overlook. A 3.0 ypc, while not stellar is not terrible.
"He's missing them because he's a mediocre running back." This is just an asinine statement. He's not missing holes, he's being forced away from them. Not to mention, Trent is most often being used in heavy sets right now, which let's the defense commit to the run. For all of that, at the end of week 8, Trent was 2nd in the NFL to Marshon Lynch with 34 forced missed tackles (that's not terrible either). To reduce the truth to mere "excuses" is a cop out way to say, I can't refute that.
@mrpenney @chip_bennett I get that; but MVP should be about *relative *value to the team. An MVP Peterson wouldn't have had to turn a mediocre team into a Super Bowl contender. But the Vikings were 10-6. What would they have been without AP? 8-8?
By contrast, all Andrew Luck did was take a 2-14 team - that would have been near that record in 2012 - to 11-5. All Peyton Manning did was take a mediocre 8-8 team to 13-3 and the best team in the AFC. IMHO, both of those represented more *value* than AP's "Star Wars" stats.
But ultimately, it doesn't really matter. The only MVP I'm hoping for this year is Robert Mathis, Super Bowl MVP.
@mrpenney @chip_bennett Eh even with the mind-blowing stats, The Vikings only put up 2 more points a game with an almost record rushing season. Manning had a productive, but not record breaking season, for the Broncos and their offensive output skyrocketed. Given that and that Harvin was the Vikes MVP for the first 8 games, I have a hard time accepting that Peterson should have even smelled the MVP.
@clholland83 @Payton He doesn't have dazzingl anything because he's not very good. Wouldn't matter if he got 25 touches a game. He still wouldn't be near the top of the totals list. He's not very good. His average is *one* of the many, many reasons why people are saying he isn't producing. You haven't been paying attention. You're ignorant of basic football and incredibly presumptuous.
Basically if I had to guess I'd say you probably visit Stampede Blue quite a bit. Either that or you've been huffing more than is healthy.
If you've been trolling, though, my hat is off to you.
@Payton my point was simply if he picked up one more ypc, he'd be on par with the better backs in the league. No he won't have dazzling numbers still because he's only averaging 15 touches per game. But his average is one of the reasons why ppl are saying he isn't producing. Anyhow, this has been fun, but I see when you go to low quality websites you get sack riders who don't know shit about football. You all enjoy each other, I'm gonna read articles from people that actually know the game. Oh and Nate, for future reference. Don't bring up your little dumb ass C average awards up in a debate to flex haha
@clholland83 Using totals is an idiotic way to measure quality. Those are all based on volume, not efficiency.
Either way it doesn't really matter. Richardson is performing dismally, even worse than a backup is expected to be. The Colts could have gotten this kind of production out of a UDFA. If the Colts really wanted a 3 YPC back that badly, they could just use Havili more.
Are you sure the top 5 rushers don't average between 4.1 and 4.7 yards per carry? I'm talking about the backs with the most yards. You wanna check that out and get back to me?
Saying he is 1 YPC off from being among the highest in NFL is 1) wrong and 2) like saying that I'm only a foot away from being 7'3".
He's at 3.1 YPC. Another yard puts him at 4.1, which wouldn't even break the top 20. If he gets another 1.5 yards, which would be roughly 150% of his current productivity, he'd just inch into the top 10, or above average as starting RB.
As it stands he is 40th in traditional YPC. His DVOA is slightly better at 31st, but that still means he's the 6th worst qualifying RB (more than 63 carries). His DYAR is slightly worse, ranking him at 32nd. I don't have his PFF grade but it's not pretty either I'm sure. 4 million against the cap isn't horrible but it's expensive for basically a below replacement level player who we gave up a 1st round pick for. Basically the Colts would have been better off calling a UDFA RB or someone like McGahee or Jacobs. Costs less, keep the 1st round pick, and the production isn't going to be any worse.
@clholland83 If Richardson is so stupid to need a full season to learn a play book, then he's certainly not worth a number one pick. If he's not smart enough to play running back in the NFL (which would be a first by the way), then it makes Indy look all the worse for wasting a pick on a guy who struggles with something no other NFL runners struggle with.
Look around the league at the RBs who are rookies and with new teams. There are plenty doing just fine.
And yes, Chad Johnson wasn't applying himself in NE. That's part of the issue for sure.
And yes, I've seen professional playbooks. It's not that hard to deal with.
I've never heard anyone claim a running back didn't know the playbook until people started making excuses for why Trent Richardson isn't any good.
"Not knowing the play book" may or may not be a real thing for Richardson, but it's not a valid excuse or reason for his bad performance.
Downright awful huh? So he's 1 yd away from being amongst the highest in the NFL. What player? Trent is on a post lockout rookie contract. He counts about $4M against the cap and if he doesn't produce, he'll either be gone like Nate believes or he'll get a smaller contract.
Hahaha you bring up your lil weak books and awards on an online commentary. Calm down chief we're just debating. Furthermore you bring it up and then say football isn't hard to learn because a lot of pal do it. Oh ok so it's easy to become a doctor, it's easy to bench press 400 pounds. But you professionally cover football huh? I call bs. Have you even seen a playbook? So Chad Johnson had trouble learning the NE playbook because he just wasn't applying himself then huh? It's so easy he should've been able to do it right? Get out of here with that.
@clholland83 How can you call him inexpensive? A first round pick is a huge expense that could have been used on a player that would have had an even cheaper contract.
@clholland83 I take exception to your assertion that 3.0 ypc isn't terrible. Because it is downright awful.
@clholland83 "the fact that you just sat here and said it's not that hard to learn an offense throws all your football credibility out the window."
One of us knows what he's talking about and one of us doesn't.
My money is on the guy who covers football professionally, has written books and won awards for his football coverage.
Oh wait, that's me!
Learning an NFL offense isn't that hard. Hundreds of guys do it every year. Running backs in particular routinely get plugged in and out of offenses and have huge years in their first year with new teams. There's no evidence that running backs need lots of time to acclimate to new systems.
Two questions to make this easy:
1. Do you attend games live or just watch on TV.
2. Do you watch the All-22 each week?
There's a reason analysts all over football have begun to question Richardson. The tape (and the live games) don't lie. You can see it on a week in week out basis. It was there in Cleveland and it's still there in Indy.
OK the fact that you just sat here and said it's not that hard to learn an offense throws all your football credibility out the window. You have reinforced the fact that you don't know football. At leat not past the pee wee level. So you know the difference between a trey rt, 14 boom, 43Z and a trey rt 14 boom V3 43Z? It's not that hard right? They look like the same smash thru the 6 hole right? Yea you suck
"OK so you count learning 2 different offenses in less than a year as him knowing the offense?"
Yes I do. Lots of runners do it. It's not that hard.
Richardson will be out of football in two years. At the very least, he won't be on the Colts.
OK so you count learning 2 different offenses in less than a year as him knowing the offense? OK that's nuts. 2nd, he has also shown the when he has good blocking he can run for great gains and pick up even more when combined with his ability to break tackles. If 71.4% of the time, the hole is blown up when he gets there, you cannot simply chalk that up to "he's just not hitting the hole fast enough. DB is and he clearly showed the same struggles when he was being ran out of the power formations. Now Brown is mostly being ran at a spread out defense so he's doing a lot better, meanwhile Trent is being ran at an 8 man box and he's improved his you to 3.0 from the 2.6 it was. I won't knock you for your opinion that he will flame out and be gone, but that's also what everyone was saying about Brown too.
As far as the trade, if the Colts do as well as we believe (the fans, clearly not the bloggers), they will have another late 1st round pick. The projection is that the next RB class is weak so there's no fix there. If anything they could've used it for a defensive player or OL but with Vick being down and brown already showing lack of ability as the feature back, they made a trade for a young, inexpensive back with the ability to be great. I can point you to articles as well that suggest the running struggles aren't all on Trent. The point I'm making is that it's not just him. I look forward to him proving you wrong.
@clholland83 @Nate Dunlevy What I'm going to do is point out that he has a deficient skill (hitting the hole) that he clearly manifested in Cleveland. Even when he knew the offense, he showed a serious lack of ability to see and hit holes.
There's no evidence that backs need a year in an offense to learn it. Bradshaw missed all of the preseason, but still came in and was effective. Going back to Eric Dickerson in '87, there's evidence that elite backs can have instant impact.
The "But Trenty doesn't know the offense yet!" excuse does not hold water. The film does not support the conclusion even going back to his days in Cleveland.
I love the missed tackle stat. Every other piece of evidence says Richardson will be out of football in two years, and the apologists throw out broken tackles.
The guy isn't very good even on runs where it is blocked well and he does hit the hole.
Here are two more excellent pieces on the topic. Yes, the blocking is sometimes wanting and occasionally terrible. No one will argue that. But there is plenty of evidence that Richardson is also a huge part of the problem and lacks elite skills.
The biggest problem is that he's simply not quick enough to hit holes in the NFL. He's a classic college production player who isn't good enough to excel as a star in the NFL.
I expect this will go down as one of the most idiotic trades by any team in years. Best case, the Colts wasted a first round pick on a good, not great, running back who will be replaced in a few years.
@clholland83 Definitely just looked at the box score. Not much of a surprise there. He's been living in the backfield.
@clholland83 I don't know if you'll ever revisit this thread, but I *really* hoping you are watching the game tonight, paying attention to Watt. He's having an all right game.
@clholland83 "So let's get this straight. The best you can do is produce one article that suggests..."
No. That's not the best I can do. That's something it took me five seconds to find from a mainstream source talking about how good his year was.
"I admit I mi spoke on the PD, I meant to put it suggests he drops back more because no I don't happen to watch Houston games unless they are shown,"
There's the problem right there. You don't watch him. You don't know. I covered the guy. I watched every snap he played multiple times. i do watch film, actually. I covered him professionally last year and broke down his All-22 every single week.
Do some film study. Read up on him.
This isn't even a controversial opinion.
You're absolutely pathetic in your attempts to be right. The article you just posted said the best defensive year by a DE. You such so bad you don't even know when you're contradicting yourself. Like I said no one is saying he's the best all around defensive player except you and maybe a few others like you that don't know dick about the game of football. So let's get this straight. The best you can do is produce one article that suggests he was a better DE in one year that Reggie White in one year then you give me a chart tallying defeats and THAT makes him the best player since Taylor?? No one you're just an armchair blogger an not an actual analyst. Your football acumen sucks tremendously. I admit I mi spoke on the PD, I meant to put it suggests he drops back more because no I don't happen to watch Houston games unless they are shown, but don't play yourself. You don't sit and watch film. Your articles and your comments prove that. There are better 24 game spans that are better than j's in regards to tackles, int, ff, fr, and sacks. That's why anyone that knows what they're talking about wouldn't group a DE with a LB, CB, or S. Him being the best since Taylor is your opinion the rest of the world isn't riding his jock strap as hard and would beg to differ.
@clholland83 Watt almost never drops back into coverage. His PDs are all balls batted down.
Do you watch film? Do you even know what this guy does?
Do you read? Did you even see this article? http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000212239/article/jj-watts-historic-2012-season-for-texans-examined
There are dozens more just like it on every mainstream channel.
I completely disagree that saying "X is the best of your lifetime" must include volume stats. It's question of context and right now, Watt is playing defense better than anyone else has played defense over the last 20 years. It's a span going back to Game one of 2012. It's the best 24 game span anyone has had in recent memory.
He's that good and you'll find no significant disagreement among any expert, mainstream or otherwise.
This chart goes back to 1989. http://www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/2012/jj-watt-obliterates-record-defensive-defeats
He's the best since Taylor. He just is.
OK your example just as ridiculous as ur argument. If Luck came and threw 60 TO (or like when Cam came out and has the most sensational Rookie season we had ever seen) no one but NO ONE would say (or did say) we're watching the greatest player in our lifetime. You can say he's put together the greatest season we've ever seen or something like that, but when you talk about the greatest in a lifetime and include all defensemen, you MUST include volume stats. You talk about the greatest since LT in '84 but he only had 11.5 sacks that year. You're calling Watt the greatest in terms of his peak but his peak right now is a 20.5 sack season. Jared Allen had 22 just in 2011. Yes Watt drops back more than other DE and had 16 PD, but Allen had and INT, a safety and 4 FF (tied with Watt in his "peak") year. And don't lie on the real analysts, NO ONE says he's the greatest defensive player in a lifetime. That all you and your camp. I'm glad you're not spreading this nonsense on a site like ESPN or something like that. You would get crucified.
@clholland83 You are confusing career stature to peak level of play.
Watt isn't the greatest in the volume sense, obviously.
He is the greatest in terms of his peak. No one has played at this level since LT. You are conflating two totally separate issues.
Imagine Andrew Luck came out next year and threw for 60 TDs. It would be the highest level of QB play ever. You'd be watching the greatest QB of your lifetime. Not that one season would make him Elway, Manning, Montana, Unitas, but that none of them would have hit the level that Luck was at currently.
That's the point with Watt. He's playing at a level Lewis certainly never came close to. Freeney isn't in the same sentence with Watt right now.
Postseasons and Super Bowls have nothing to do with it. Nor should they.
The joke is that every serious analyst that watches film and breaks down tape of Watt says the same thing. The only ones in your camp are the pundits who says, "but ringzes! How many ringzes does he got?"
@Nate Dunlevy @clholland83 Nate you have the stones to say some dumb stuff like "weak sauce comment" when you call a player the greatest defensive player in a life time after 2 and a half seasons. I'm glad you're a blogger and not a real analyst because you obviously don't know much about the game of football. You are clearly one of those that looks just at numbers and tries to write something that makes sense regarding them. How is post season play NOT more important than regular season? That's where the championship is won and greatness is earned. Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp, Michael Strahan, and Dwight Freeney (just to name a few) and you call JJ Watt the greatest?? You, sir have lost all credibility. You're comparing a DE to a LB and you want to puff your chest out and say "bring it." You officially don't know football when you're gonna do some dumb stuff like that.
What makes him better than Ray Lewis? Freeney had 11+ in each of his first 4 years in the season. We all know a team wins but a great player is one that is the difference maker in those wins. We all know great players puts the team on their back in crunch time that wins championships. I was simply saying where's JJ's? Don't go crying about the team when you're the one handing out an individual title based on absolutely nothing. And you got the onions to tell me to do research. Since you need help let me give you an example of what I mean. The Colts had the worst run defense in the NFL the season they won the superbowl, but what was the difference in the playoffs...Bob Sanders. Ray Lewis has that effect, Strahan and Sapp have that effect. Where has Watt had that? Try actually supporting your claim before you decide to tell someone to do research.
@clholland83 First of all, measuring "greatness" by the results of a team makes no sense. Measuring a player by playoff performance makes even less.
However, if you are dumb enough to count postseason play as more important that regular season play (a common mistake of the painfully uninformed), then you'll freaking love Watt.
Four games (team won two). He has 5 sacks (at least .5 in each game). 17 tackles. An interception and a touchdown.
In the playoffs.
Of course his TEAM lost one of those games after his QB threw three picks. He had 2.5 sacks and 9 tackles, but he clearly sucks because he didn't win a Super Bowl.
Weak sauce comment. Do your research and bring it next time. Learn the difference between a team and a player.
Wow that's quick. 2 and a half years makes JR a superstar. Doing it over a career makes you the best in a lifetime. JO may get there but he isn't there yet. How many years has he anchored a super bowl winning defense? 0? Yeah that sounds about right. How many playoff games has his defense won? I think you can slow down on the excessive glorification until his greatness accounts for more than just 2 division titles because that's not how greatness is measured in the NFL.
@lucktab @Nate Dunlevy I would put Watt not only ahead of all of those guys, but by a wide margin. His affect on all phases of the passing game and run game is unprecedented. When you add in the 16 passes defended to his sack total and ridiculous control of the run game, you get a player dominating like no one has, including the illustrious names on your list.
I've seen them all, and right now Watt is flat better than anyone has been since LT.