The Texans are finished after losing to the Patriots last Sunday, which means one of the greatest individual seasons by a defensive end has also come to an end.
J.J. Watt will add no more sacks or batted passes to a resume that’s likely to make him the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year when the award is announced early next month. Watt had 20.5 sacks in the regular season, added 1.5 more in the playoffs, knocked down 16 passes and regularly blew up running plays during the type of season we haven’t seen very often.
According to Watt, we won’t be seeing it again. We’re going to be getting something even better.
“I’m 23 years old and two years into the league,” Watt said, via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. “I’m still learning what I’m doing out there. I have a lot of time in this league, I hope, and a lot of improvement to make. My second year is not going to be my best year in the NFL. I can promise you that.”
That’s a high bar and it is one that at least the rest of the AFC South will be plotting to keep Watt from reaching as they shape their offensive lines for 2013 and beyond. If Watt can surpass his performance from this season, Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips might wind up being proven right about the Hall of Fame prediction he made before the season.