Someone seemed to think it was a good idea to hold an NFL game on J.J. Watt day. Right where the greatest Houston Texans defender of all-time will see himself immortalized in the Texans Ring of Honor, the NFL decided to hold a game. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Texans as 3-point underdogs.
The nerve, right?
And, to make it even crazier, they invited J.J.’s little brother T.J. and his Pittsburgh Steelers to play in said game.
In all seriousness, what better motivation could C.J. Stroud and the upstart Texans have than seeing one of their greatest honored in front of the whole world? Not sure how that X-factor impacts the betting odds, but you can bet it does.
While Stroud and the H-Town offense were red hot last week, the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have a Watt of their own to disrupt the opposition. Unfortunately the Steelers do. And, older brother J.J. recently called T.J. “the best defender in the game.”
Meanwhile, the Steelers are focused on taking it to the Texans. But, all this talk of great defenders might have rookie Will Anderson Jr. thinking this is his time to shine.
A bold prediction comparing Will Anderson Jr. to JJ Watt. Check out our Houtopia Football Podcast! pic.twitter.com/SBakQsbyKz— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) August 9, 2023
Pittsburgh Steelers Stats
- QB KENNY PICKETT completed 16 of 28 attempts (57.1 pct.) & set season highs in pass yards (235), TD passes (2) & rating (108.5) last week. Aims for his fifth in row on road with zero INTs.
- RB NAJEE HARRIS led team with season-best 65 rush yards last week. Aims for his fifth in row on road with 65+ rush yards. RB JAYLEN WARREN had 52 scrimmage yards (29 rush, 23 rec.) last week & aims for his third in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. WR GEORGE PICKENS aims for third in row with 75+ rec. yards. Has 4+ catches in each of first three games of season.
- WR ALLEN ROBINSON has 4+ catches in two of three games this season. Had nine catches for 123 yards & TD in his last game vs. Houston (12/13/20 w/ Chicago). Aims for his fifth in row vs. AFC South with 7+ catches & 80+ rec. yards.
- WR CALVIN AUSTIN had 72-yard TD catch last week, longest TD catch in NFL this season & first-career receiving TD.
- TE PAT FREIERMUTH had 41 rec. yards & second TD catch of season in Week 3. Is one of five TEs with two receiving TDs this season.
- LB T.J. WATT had two sacks last week. Has sack in each of first three games of season & is only player in NFL with 2+ sacks in multiple games. Aims for his sixth in row with 0.5+ sacks. Has fumble recovery & pass deflection in two of past three. Had two TFL & sack in last meeting. Leads NFL with six sacks, his sixth-career season with 6+ sacks.
- S MINKAH FITZPATRICK led team with season-high 11 tackles in Week 3. Has pass deflection in three of his past four on road.
- CB PATRICK PETERSON had 35th-career INT last week, most among active players. Aims for his fifth in row with pass deflection. Had three pass deflections & INT in his last game vs. Houston (11/19/17 w/ Arizona).
- CB LEVI WALLACE had six tackles, career-high four pass deflections & two INTs last week, first-career two INTs game. Aims for third in row with 5+ tackles.
Houston Texans Stats
- QB C.J. STROUD (rookie) completed 20 of 30 attempts (66.7 pct.) for 280 yards & two TDs vs. zero INTs with career-high 118.8 rating last week. Ranks fifth in NFL with 906 pass yards, third-most ever by player in first three career games. Is fourth QB all-time with 200+ pass yards & zero INTs in each of first three career games. Aims for third in row with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating.
- RB DAMEON PIERCE had season-high 59 scrimmage yards (31 rush, 28 rec.) & first rush TD of season last week.
- RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had season-best 41 rush yards last week. Has 80+ scrimmage yards in two of four career games vs. Pittsburgh
- WR TANK DELL had five catches for 145 yards & TD last week, most rec. yards ever by a Houston rookie in a single game. Aims for third in row with 5+ catches, 70+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Ties for lead among rookies with two rec. TDs & ranks 2nd with 251 rec. yards.
- WR NICO COLLINS has 80+ rec. yards in two of three games this season. Aims for his third in row at home with TD catch.
- WR ROBERT WOODS has six catches & 50+ rec. yards in two of three games this season. Had seven catches for 95 yards in his last game vs. Pittsburgh (11/10/19 w/ Los Angeles Rams).
- TE BREVIN JORDAN had first TD catch of season last week.
- LB BLAKE CASHMAN had five tackles, two pass deflections, a fumble recovery & first-career INT last week, one of five players this season with INT & fumble recovery in a game.
- LB DENZEL PERRYMAN had an INT in his last game vs. Pit. (12/24/22 w/ LV). Has TFL in 2 of his past three vs. Pittsburgh.
- LB HENRY TO’OTO’O (rookie) had 10 tackles & a pass deflection last week.
- DE JERRY HUGHES had a TFL in Week 3.
- CB SHAQUILL GRIFFIN tied for team lead with 10 tackles last week, his third-career game with 10+ tackles.
- S ERIC MURRAY had five tackles & second-career FF in Week 3.
And then there’s this:
As a baby, TANK DELL got his nickname from his mom. Her son had a head reminiscent of a front-line offensive ground weapon.
Last week, Dell introduced himself to the National Football League as Houston’s front-line offensive air weapon.
The rookie third-round selection caught five passes for 145 yards and a touchdown in an impressive road victory. His rookie quarterback, second overall selection C.J. STROUD, is only the third player ever to reach 900 passing yards over his first three NFL games. The next player drafted, third overall selection WILL ANDERSON, became the first Texans rookie to block a field goal since J.J. WATT in 2011.
Houston’s center, sixth-round rookie JARRETT PATTERSON, has helped give Stroud time in the pocket, while linebacker HENRY TO’OTO’O, a fifth-round selection, leads the team with 20 tackles. Even the Texans’ punter and holder, undrafted free agent TY ZENTNER, made key contributions in last week’s win.
“I don’t care where you were drafted, how we acquired you,” said rookie head coach DEMECO RYANS. “Are you playing football the right way, the Texans brand of football? If you play that, then you’ll play for us.”
Ryans, the 2006 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, knows all about playing football the right way.
No matter which bet you take, this Sunday is gonna be one to remember.
Brought to you by DraftKings Sportsbook.