Houston Texans: A committee of players have filled in fine for J.J. Watt

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The news of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt being out for the season is tough but it’s a committee of players that have filled in just fine. Who?

The Houston Texans were able to nab an impressive win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, a division rival in a dominating 26-3 decision across the pond in London.  They look their best out there at times and they’re making a case to run away as a favorite to win the AFC South at the hands of Deshaun Watson.

Although we criticize Bill O’Brien at times, he’s been able to piece together some impressive wins this season and there hasn’t been a game that was out of reach for this team.

That’s not an easy feat and it goes to show that there is some advancement of this team’s ability to make inroads as one of the best in the NFL.

However, the ultimate goal should be to not only make the playoffs but win at least two playoff series to propel themselves to the AFC Championship Game.  With the New England Patriots showing signs of vulnerability with a stunning 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the conference is wide-open with the Pats experiencing depth issues with their roster.

The Houston Texans must pounce on this opportunity at all costs to try to rewrite the history books as a franchise that has finally matured enough to be a perennial contender.

That’s a big step but there’s no doubt that this team can get to that apex of a goal.

But speaking of pouncing, we all know that J.J. Watt will be out for the remainder of the season because of a torn pectoral muscle, raising concerns on if the defense will be able to hold up without his presence.

Those concerns were slightly alleviated this past Sunday as an array of supporting cast members — now at center stage — were able to fill in admirably for Watt.

Now mind you that they were playing the Jags but they still are a formidable team and that’s why you have to play the games.

They were able to sack Gardner Minshew II four times Sunday, proving that these guys were feasting on the opportunity to shine against a team that’s future is uncertain near-term.

Brennan Scarlett (2), Carlos Watkins (1) and Briean Boddy-Calhoun (1) each contributed to that department.  Boddy-Calhoun was just re-signed last week after being cut just before the start of the 2019 season.

The cornerback depth was poor and Boddy-Calhoun was called upon to help out with that.  It was no-brainer move as he’s familiar with the schemes and would be an easy plug-in off the fly.  With

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Johnathan Joseph and Bradley Roby‘s healthy continuing to be up in air at times, I do believe Briean has his spot locked up for the rest of the season if he keeps making plays like that.

As I expected, teams will now shift their focus on Whitney Mercilus, who was having a hell of start to the season as a typical decoy for Watt in various sets.  I had hoped for Mercilus to nab Most Improved Player honors but it may be tough for him to keep his rambunctious trajectory going with him commanding a lot of attention now.

It’s about time that Scarlett get going.  The 2016 undrafted, yet talented linebacker that just can’t stay healthy has a perfect opportunity show what his worth is.

Scarlett will earn $2 million this season in a deal he signed as restricted free agent and he was signed to a $3.75 million extension in 2020 to lock him up through 2021.  Just based off his production and his ability to help on special teams makes him invaluable on the field.

Next. Texans double-back to Briean Boddy-Calhoun for help. dark

I still feel that Angelo Blackson as well as rookie Charles Omenihu will emerge from that bunch as well to ensure that the defense is doing everything they can to keep the Houston Texans in games.

We’ll have to see but the loss of Watt may not sting as much as we think.

Let’s keep it going — go Houston Texans!