Three Things after the Houston Texans drove the Miami Dolphins batty:
Thing 1: J.J. Watt might have single-handedly tilted Sunday’s 30-10 bgame to the Texans.
The second-year defensive end out of Wisconsin batted a pair of Ryan Tannehill passes into the air, both balls getting pulled down by Texans teammates for interceptions that set up short scoring drives.
Tannehill had a big problem with that last season at Texas A&M, something Watt and several of his teammates claimed not to know, even though College Station is just 90 minutes away.
How does Watt do it?
“I go to the Y every Tuesday and Thursday and play [volleyball],” Watt joked. “I’m an outside setter, and that’s where I get my success from on the field.”
Thing 2: Actually, it’s more of a mindset and a point of emphasis on the Texans’ defense.
Veteran defensive line coach Bill Kollar drills his charges constantly on getting a hand in the air once they realize they can’t get to the quarterback and the ball is about to come out.
It’s interesting to note that Dolphins coach Joe Philbin singled out Kollar for praise during the week, something that usually doesn’t happen for position coaches.
“Once you start to understand a quarterback’s rhythm, you see his eyes, you understand his arm motion, you can start to figure out when he’s going to throw it,” Watt said. “You know when you’re stuffed as a pass rusher. It happens. Sometimes you get stuffed. Throw your hands up. Try to do anything to make a play.”
The Texans made plenty of them Sunday.
Thing 3: Watt had a third batted pass in the first half that should have been an interception – a possible pick-six, he said – but that one wound up in the hands of Anthony Fasano for a circus catch.
The other two, which produced interceptions for teammates Kareem Jackson and Brian Cushing, came at the expense of rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin.
“He’ll be a good player,” Watt said. “He’s young. He got put in a tough situation here at Reliant Stadium. This is a tough environment for anyone to play in, much less a rookie quarterback and a rookie right tackle. He’ll grow up. He’ll get better, but today he went against a great defense and a great crowd.”
When batted passes do happen, does it fall more on the quarterback or the offensive linemen?
“I think it’s a combination,” Watt said. “You have to get penetration to get your hands on the ball. If you’re far away, you’re not going to get it done. Maybe it’s [Tannehill] throwing the ball low, maybe it’s us getting our hands up more. I don’t care how it gets done. As long as it gets done, I’m happy with it.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun