The 12-2 Houston Texans wrapped up their second straight AFC South title, and there were many players key to the team's 29-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Quarterback Matt Schaub completed 23 passes in 31 attempts for 261 yards and a touchdown, running back Arian Foster blew through Indy's defense for 167 yards on 27 carries, receiver Andre Johnson caught 11 passes for 151 yards, and a Texans pass defense that had been leaky of late looked very strong against Colts rookie phenom Andrew Luck, limiting Luck to 13 completions in 27 attempts for 186 yards.
Luck did throw for two touchdowns as the game started to get out of hand, and that was impressive, considering that he was sacked five times Sunday.
And that's where the star of the Texans' win comes in. Defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who has been virtually unblockable all season whether he's playing tackle or end, picked up three more sacks on his amazing year, pushing his total up to 19.5 and tying him with San Francisco 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith for the NFL lead. Smith gets his chance to exceed Watt's total and take back that lead when the 49ers take on the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
For now, it's all about Watt, who also had 10 solo tackles, four quarterback hits and six tackles for loss in the game.
"What he's doing is special," Schaub said of Watt's efforts. "When we need a big play... he seems to be right in the mix."
It's been that way all season, and Watt was a monster as he usually is. Displaying an ever-increasing repertoire of swim and rip moves combined with his demon speed and power, Watt confounded a Colts offensive line and quarterback who couldn't handle that kind of pressure -- Indy has ranked in the middle of the pack in Football Outsiders' pass protection metrics.
Then again, they haven't faced the Texans, and J.J. Watt, before Sunday.
Bad news for the Colts is that they have to do it again in the regular-season finale. The good news is that with the division sewn up, Houston might save Watt for the playoffs ... unless Watt is in line for Michael Strahan's single-season sack record of 22.5.
If that's the case, Andrew Luck might want to check his insurance premiums. J.J. Watt simply can't be stopped.
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