Wednesday, December 9, 2020

J.J. Watt—The Thousand-yard Defensive Lineman

 By John Turney
Pro Football Journal has been tracking run and pass stuffs (R/P stuffs) for a long time, the brainchild of Nick Webster who thought that tackles for a loss on pass plays should be treated the same as STATS, LLC (as it was then called) treated run plays.

We've posted often on R/P stuffs and their importance in slowing an offense and putting them "behind the down and distance schedule" if you will.

Lavonte David and JJ Watt and the recent kings of these plays, though there are plenty more.

Watt, with three last Sunday now was 98.5 for his career to go with his 101 sacks, for 200 plays behind the line of scrimmage in his career. With his next stuff, he joins Bruce Smith and Deacon Jones as the only others in the 100-100 sack/stuff club—players with at least 100 sacks and 100 R/P stuffs.

Interestingly, though, in terms of yardage, and how it relates to putting offenses behind the sticks, he's also far surpassed another milestone—when you add in his interception and fumbles recovered yardage—1,000 yards. 

His current total is 1062.5 yards in favor of the defense on his individual plays—
Watt has 167 yards in returns to go with 895.5 yards lost on sacks and stuffs which make the total the 1062.5 we mentioned.

Not to go all "metric" on you but with is 62 pass deflections---and the average pass in the NFL is about 7-8 yards or so, let's call it 7.5 he's saved another 465 yards by that estimation. (Hey, we know, it's an estimation, a metric if you will). 

As the football analytics guys like to say yards translate into points, so by that logic, Watt is worth quite a lot of points for one individual player out of eleven on a defense. 

Then there is the "eye test". That tells anyone who has watched him that he's as good an all-around defensive lineman as anyone has seen in any era. So there is that. 


  1. wow, great post and this is great season by watt. I am starting to think i will move him ahead of lee roy selmon on my all time 3-4 end list.

    right now i got

    1. watt
    3. bethea
    4. bruce smith

  2. Tough year for Watt though. Hopefully, he can go to contender and have a chance at a SB ... time is running out.
    I thought Neil Smith was an excellent 34 end as well.