That’s the head-snapping moment behind some terrific new commercials by American Family Insurance starring Yankees legend Derek Jeter, new Warriors star Kevin Durant and J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans.
Watt scored his fifth touchdown on November 30, 2014, catching a one-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Texans quarterback. With this reception, Watt became the first defensive lineman to have scored at least five touchdowns in a season since 1944.
On December 21, Watt recorded his 54th sack as a Texan in a win against the Baltimore Ravens. With that sack, he surpassed Mario Williams as the franchise leader in sacks. On December 28, 2014, Watt had a sack for his first career safety against the Jacksonville Jaguars which gave him 3 sacks on the day and 20.5 on the season, becoming the first player in NFL history to have 20 or more sacks in separate seasons. Watt also finished the season with a career-high 5 fumble recoveries and 5 touchdowns.
The good: star defensive end J.J. Watt is progressing rapidly in his rehabilitation from back surgery and could be back in time for the season opener.
The bad: rookie center Nick Martin underwent ankle surgery and is expected to be out for the season. And in another blow to the offensive line, Duane Brown may not be ready for the first game.
Watt’s recovery has gone so well that he could play in the Sept. 11 opener against the Chicago Bears, said people who were aware of Watt’s status but not authorized to speak publicly.
For his outstanding season, Watt was unanimously named to the 2014 All-Pro First Team as a defensive end and named to the All-Pro second team as a defensive tackle. Watt was also named to the 2015 Pro Bowl where Cris Carter, team captain of Team Carter, selected Watt to be his captain on defense. During the game, Watt recorded a fumble recovery and an interception and after the game was named Defensive MVP. He also won the Defensive Player of the Year award, one of the few to win the award multiple times. He also became the first defensive player since 2008 to get votes for the MVP award, receiving 13.
“J.J. Watt, he actually lifted on Friday, passed his conditioning test (Sunday),” Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer said on the pregame show before the Texans beat the Cardinals 34-24 in their third preseason game. “He wants to practice this week. Head coach Bill O’Brien said, ‘hey let’s slow it down.’
“Anybody else, I don’t think they’d be back week 1. J.J. Watt is not like anybody else. I think there is a very strong chance he does play.”