Interesting NFL news, as it has now been revealed that J.J. Watt is outplaying the entire Buffalo Bills defensive line, according to NFL.com.
J.J. Watt outplaying Buffalo Bills defensive line
When the Buffalo Bills made the decision to hire Rex Ryan as their head coach, the defensive line quartet of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Jerry Hughes were beyond elated. They were going to be coached by a guy that has long been regarded as one of the best defensive minds in the entire NFL. They believed that Ryan was going to figure out how to maximize their potential even more, both individually and as a unit. Unfortunately, though, things have not turned out as well as they thought and the defensive line has actually regressed.
The starting four defensive linemen for the Bills have nine sacks combined. That is a far cry from when Mario Williams, Hughes, and Dareus all finished in the top 20 in sacks when Jim Schwartz was the defensive coordinator in Buffalo. To give a better perspective, Houston Texans defensive tackle J.J. Watt has 13.5 sacks on his own thus far this season. The pesky pass rusher is on track to break the 20 sacks mark once again. The same cannot be said about what the Bills starting defensive lineman will end up with.
Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes each have three sacks. Marcell Dareus is right behind them with two. Kyle Williams only has one for the season. Considering what the Buffalo Bills are paying these guys, it would be an understatement to say that they are not playing anywhere near their potential. What was supposed to have been the biggest strength for the team is just a collective unit of underachievers now. Teams in the NFL no longer fear them like they did last year.
A big part of the reason why the defensive line has struggled is because of the defensive scheme that Rex Ryan utilizes. The players are frustrated enough to vent to the media about the situation. The Bills are saying that they should be allowed to be aggressive on every defense snap. They would much rather go forward instead of back peddling at times because Ryan likes to utilize zone blitz concepts. Rex feels that it creates more confusion for the opposing quarterbacks when defensive linemen would appear in places where they normally do not play.
Since he has been so dominant the past couple of years, fans are overlooking just how great J.J. Watt is playing. People are at the point where they expect him to reach 20 sacks a year. Watt has done that twice already in his career, and he will more than likely put that notch on his belt again after this season is over. The former University of Wisconsin star has been one of the biggest reasons why the Houston Texans have been able to turn around their season. Their current four-game winning streak is the reason why they have been able to tie the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC South lead.
Unlike what Rex Ryan is doing to his defensive line, Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is wisely building his scheme around Watt. He knows that J.J. is going to be facing a lot of double teams from opposing offensive lines, so Crennel has built in some blitz packages that take advantage of one on one blocks elsewhere. That has enabled young linebackers like John Simon and Whitney Mercilus to attack the quarterbacks better than they have before.
Would you take J.J. Watt over the entire Buffalo Bills defensive line?
[Featured Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]