NFL's Best: J.J. Watt: Turn Down For Watt
NFL's Best: J.J. Watt: Turn Down For Watt

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who was named the 2014 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was nothing short of dominant in 2014.

"When he lines up inside, he reminds me of HOWIE LONG," says CBS Sports analyst and former head coach BILL COWHER. "When he lines up outside, he reminds me of BRUCE SMITH. But he's a modern-day REGGIE WHITE because they put him places and make it difficult to block him."

Watt's historic NFL season included big plays on both offense and defense, as he ranked second in the NFL with 20.5 sacks and became the first player in NFL history with at least three offensive touchdowns, two touchdowns on takeaways and a safety in the same season.

"I can't compare J.J. to anybody because he's so long, he's so explosive," says Texans head coach BILL O'BRIEN. "The thing that sets him apart is that he has a relentless way of playing. He disrupts the game in a lot of different ways."

Since being selected in the first round by Houston in the 2011 NFL Draft, Watt leads all players with 57 sacks, which is the thirdmost of any player in his first four seasons since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Reggie White (70) and DERRICK THOMAS (58) posted more sacks in their first four seasons during that span.


The players with the most sacks in their first four seasons since 1982:

Player Team Seasons Sacks
(Source: NFL)
Reggie WhitePhiladelphia1985-8870
Derrick ThomasKansas City1989-9258
J.J. WattHouston2011-1457
DeMarcus WareDallas2005-0853.5
Dwight FreeneyIndianapolis2002-0551


Watt, who also posted 20.5 sacks in 2012, is the only NFL player with multiple 20-sacks seasons since 1982.

"He combines elite-level strength with elite-level quickness and an elite-level first move with elite-level counter moves," says ESPN analyst and former NFL guard MARK SCHLERETH. "When you're playing against a guy like that, he's got so many things he can get you with that it makes it incredibly difficult to prepare and plan for. You look at it and, quite frankly, he's like this perfect football player."


The players with at least 20 sacks in a season since the statistic became official in 1982:

Player Team Season Sacks
# Pro Football Hall of Famer (Source: NFL)
Michael Strahan#New York Giants200122.5
Jared AllenMinnesota201122.0
Mark GastineauNew York Jets198422.0
Justin HoustonKansas City201422.0
Chris Doleman#Minnesota198921.0
Reggie White#Philadelphia198721.0
J.J. WattHouston201420.5
J.J. WattHouston201220.5
Lawrence Taylor#New York Giants198620.5
Derrick Thomas#Kansas City199020.0
DeMarcus WareDallas200820.0

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