It’s been said that every cloud has a silver lining. Although the Houston Texans have finished the first quarter of the season with a disappointing 1-3 record, there is a reason for optimism, especially on defense.  Jadeveon Clowney (DE/OLB) and defensive end J.J. Watt, in recent weeks, are beginning to exert their will on opposing offenses. If ever there was a reason to be encouraged about the next 4 games on the schedule it’s because of this dynamic defensive duo.

For Jadeveon Clowney, it’s like watching a ticking time bomb waiting to see when he will explode. The former #1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, has been hampered by injuries in the past, but has dialed his game up in recent weeks.

Clowney was recently named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance in the Texans 37-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Jadeveon had four total tackles (four solo), 2.0 sacks, four quarterback hits, four tackle for loss and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.

He is the only player to record at least 2.0 sacks, four tackles for loss and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown in a single game since tackles for loss became an official NFL statistic. Not only that, Clowney has accomplished the feat twice in his NFL career (Week 3 of the 2017 season).

Needless to say head coach Bill O’Brien was pleased with Jadeveon’s performance.

“He had a very disruptive game. He had his best game of the year to this point,” O’Brien acknowledged. “It was fun to see him back out there playing that way. He did a great job. He did a great job.”

Sidelined by season ending injuries the previous 2 seasons, many fans and experts wondered if 3 time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt would ever be the same guy on the football field. Well the preliminary reports are back and so far Watt is back to old tricks, dominating offensive linemen and sacking the quarterback.

J.J. was recently named AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. This marks Watt’s sixth Player of the Month award in his career, which is tied for the most by any defensive player in NFL history (Bruce Smith).

In four games in September, all J.J. did was compile 20 total tackles (14 solo), 5.0 sacks for a loss of 33 yards, eight quarterback hits, six tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. Watt ranks tied for first in the NFL this season in forced fumbles, tied for second in sacks, tied for fifth in quarterback hits and tied for fourth in tackles for loss. In the AFC, Watt is the leader in sacks and forced fumbles while tying for third in both tackles for loss and quarterback hits.