While we all lament the loss of prime time J.J. Watt, new defensive lineman Jerry Hughes did his best to fill those legendary shoes in yesterday’s 2022 NFL opener.
Entering his 12th year in the league, the former first round pick of the Indianapolis Colts has started 134 games, amassed 415 total tackles, 279 solo stops, 59.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and, prior to this game, one interception.
He now has two.
After three seasons with the Baby Horses, Indy traded Hughes to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kevin Shepherd. On May 11th of this year, Hughes signed a free agent deal with the Houston Texans.
In yesterday’s match, Hughes tallied three color tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble (on a strip sack) and the very Watt-esque interception.
THAT WAS HUGHE @Iam_jerryhughes— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 11, 2022
» @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/tiaKC3ICXK
On that play, Colts quarterback Matt Ryan tried to force the ball to his right over Hughes. However, the wily veteran put his hands into the passing lane, deflecting the ball and ultimately coming down with the pick.
While the newest Texans defensive end didn’t rumble back for six like Watt did so many times, it was certainly a highlight in a game that had too few to speak of.
Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come and Hughes, along with the rest of the Texans ball-hawking defense keep taking the ball back for the offense, each and every week.
DL Jerry Hughes becomes the third player in #Texans history to record an interception, sack and forced fumble in a single game, joining Dunta Robinson (12/19/04 at CHI) and DeMeco Ryans (12/3/06 at OAK). Hughes accomplished the feat before halftime against the Colts. #INDvsHOU pic.twitter.com/KQv69ZlWW8— Houston Texans PR (@TexansPR) September 11, 2022