By the numbers: A look at J.J. Watt’s career (so far)
The Arizona Cardinals added major power to their defensive line Monday.
Former Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt announced on Twitter that he is signing with the Arizona Cardinals, with the team confirming the news shortly after.
In his time with the Texans, Watt led the league in sacks twice, was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times and has won an NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The 31-year-old also holds Houston’s franchise record for career sacks.
Let’s take a closer look at the career numbers of the new Cardinals defensive lineman as he enters his 11th season.
The number of games Watt has started over his 10-year career. He entered the league out of Wisconsin as the 11th overall pick by Houston in the 2011 NFL Draft. Over those 128 games, Watt’s 172 tackles for loss, 282 quarterback hits, 16 fumble recoveries, 47 games with multiple tackles for loss and 26 multi-sack games lead the NFL.
Watt’s 101.0 career sacks are a franchise record for the Houston Texans, and has Watt ranking second in NFL history behind the Broncos’ Von Miller (106.0 in 135 games). Only six players in NFL history had more sacks in their first 128 career games.
Last season, the defensive lineman became the 35th player in NFL history to reach 100.0 career sacks overall when he took down Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Jake Luton in the Week 9 matchup. He was also the fifth-fastest player in NFL history to reach the milestone since the statistic became official in 1982.
Watt is the only player in the NFL to ever record multiple seasons with 20.0 or more sacks. Additionally, Watt joined Hall of Famer Reggie White as the only players in NFL history to post three or more seasons with at least 17.5 sacks (2012, 2014-15). Watt’s four seasons with at least 15.0 sacks are second all-time behind just White (five).
The honors have stacked up for Watt over his career, with five seemingly a lucky number. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl five times (2012-15, 2018) and was named to first-team All-Pro five times too (2012-15, 2018).
The defensive lineman has been awarded six AFC Defensive Player of the Month awards, tied for the most by any defensive player in NFL history. On top of that, Watt has added seven AFC Defensive Player of the Week awards, tied with Aaron Donald for the most among any active player in the league.