When it comes to the sport of Football and how teams in the NFL are built around these days, 2 important mainstays are the epitome of good and elite teams in the NFL: A Good Starting Quarterback that can lead your team at any point of the game and A Good Defense to keep the team in the game when the offense is struggling. Teams that have Great Defenses built all around are usually the key to winning championships hence the saying “Defense Wins Championships.” The saying is so true though. Building up your Defense is the key to success in the NFL along with great QB play.
However, as for the Texans, since becoming an expansion team in 2002 and taking David Carr with number 1 overall pick of the NFL Draft that year, the Texans have drafted 11 Defensive players in the first round of the draft since then. 11 Defensive players to 6 Offensive players drafted by the Texans in the whole history of the Franchise in the first round. My point being with that is that type of strategy and thinking will pay off in the end and down the road in some years, and you will see the progress of those drafts. For instance, in 2009 The Texans drafted Brian Cushing, Kareem Jackson in 2010, J.J. Watt in 2011, Whitney Mercilus in 2012, Jadeveon Clowney in 2014, and Kevin Johnson in 2015. 6 guys that would all become key parts to the defense and helped the defense groom over the years after being drafted by Houston.
In the 2016 season, the progression of the earlier years drafts had shown, and at one point of the season and for a while the Texans were the number 1 ranked Defense in the league! That was without their best defensive player in J.J. Watt as well! To think about that actually is very impressive for the Texans. They maintained a good defense throughout the year and even won the division! It was a great year even without their defensive star and captain.
The 2017 season is coming up and it will be the actual first time since Watt being drafted in 2011 and Clowney in 2014 that these two guys will both be suited up on the field together and will play together. Both have struggled with injuries at different times, so they actually have not played together yet which is crazy to think about. However, it is not too late for them and the both of them together have the chance to be a force to reckon with! We all know what J.J. brings to the table with his 299 career tackles, 76 career sacks, and uncanny ability to deflect any pass in his reach, so with Clowney opposite side him this year, both of them together will be fun to watch. Clowney broke out last year with 6 sacks, 40 solo tackles and 52 total tackles in all to earn him his first ever Pro Bowl Selection. The progress he has shown and what he did last year makes it very exciting to see what he can do along side JJ.
The Texans did lose some key starters this offseason with Quintin Demps leaving for the Bears, John Simon leaving for the Colts, and Vince Wilfork still undecided about retirement, the Texans were able to add depth to fill those voids with the draft this year and free agency. 2017 is the upcoming season and the season Texans’ fans are very excited about. J.J. and Clowney together on the field are going to be a treat and we are all ready for it. Hopefully, the two of them together will wreck havoc and anchor a number 1 ranked Defense again in 2017. We can only hope, but having a strong Defensive to go along with your offense will only help you if you make it to the Super Bowl!
Photo Credit: Houston Forward Times
Die-hard Sports fan/nerd born and raised in Houston, TX! I love any Houston team and mainly follow the Texans, Astros, and Rockets. Follow my twitter @TFoRTLeW. I also run a sports podcast with my good friend Noah!