HOUSTON – Texans DE J.J. Watt was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September today. It is the third time in Watt's career he has won the award. Watt has been a driving force behind Houston's 3-1 start and is the first player in franchise history to be named player of the month on three separate occasions.
Watt finished the month with 16 quarterback hits, 15 tackles, four tackles for loss, three passes defensed, 2.0 sacks, an interception returned for a touchdown, a blocked extra point and a fumble recovery. Watt alone has more quarterback hits than 13 teams and twice as many as the league's second-ranked player through Week 4.
The fourth-year player out of Wisconsin made key plays at key points in the season's first month: an 80-yard touchdown return against Buffalo in Week 4 to give Houston a 14-10 lead following a Texans turnover to open the second half, a fumble recovery on the Houston 10-yard line against Washington in Week 1 and a 1-yard touchdown catch for his first career offensive score against Oakland in Week 2.
Watt's play has helped Houston lead the NFL in third down defense (28.6 percent) and tie for second in red zone defense (42.9 percent).
Watt was named AFC Player of the Week on Wednesday for his performance against Buffalo in Week 4. In addition to his first career regular season interception and interception return for a touchdown, Watt had a career-best nine quarterback hits, a pass defensed and five tackles.
With Buffalo looking to cash in on a Texans' turnover to start the second half, Watt changed the complexion of the game when he intercepted Bills QB E.J. Manuel and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. Watt's return tied for the sixth-longest in NFL history for a defensive lineman.
In the season opener against Washington, Watt had a sack, five tackles, two tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, a fumble recovery, a blocked extra point and a pass defensed. In Week 2 against Oakland, watt became the first defensive player in franchise history to score from scrimmage on a 1-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. In Week 3 against the New York Giants, Watt had a sack, seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit and a pass defensed.