Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins and DE J.J. Watt were named to the Associated Press NFL All-Pro First Team today. The teams are chosen by a national panel of 50 NFL writers and broadcasters to recognize the best players at each position.
Hopkins, who made first team in 2017 and second team in 2015, finished the 2018 regular season with a single-season career-high 115 receptions for a single-season career-high 1,572 receiving yards (13.7 avg.) and 11 touchdowns on 163 targets. He led the NFL in receiving first downs, ranked second in receiving yards, third in receptions and fifth in receiving touchdowns. He tied for the most receptions in a season in team history, tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns and recorded the third-most receiving yards by any player in franchise history. He also had a single-season career-high seven games with at least 100 receiving yards.
Hopkins led all offensive skill players (WR, RB, TE & FB) in playtime percentage in 2018, playing in 99.09 percent of Houston’s offensive plays (1,084-of-1,094). He recorded at least one receiving touchdown in five consecutive games (Weeks 6-11), which tied his own franchise record. Hopkins also became the second-youngest player in NFL history to reach 500 career receptions and 7,000 career receiving yards, trailing only Larry Fitzgerald. He is just the second player in NFL history to post at least 525 receptions, 7,400 receiving yards and 45 receiving touchdowns in the first six seasons of a player’s career, joining Randy Moss (1998-2003).
Watt made first team at defensive end in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 while also being named the second team defensive tackle in 2014. This season, he compiled 61 total tackles (47 solo), an AFC-leading 16.0 sacks, 25 quarterback hits, 18 tackles for loss, four passes defensed and seven forced fumbles. He recorded his fourth-career season with at least 15.0 sacks, which is the second-most in NFL history behind only Reggie White (five) and his franchise-record 92.0 career sacks are tied for the second-most through a player’s first 104 games of his NFL career. He leads the NFL in tackles for loss (154), quarterback hits (244) and multi-sack games (24) since entering the league in 2011. He is also the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks per game (0.88) and tied with Trevor Pryce (92.0) for 44th on the NFL’s all-time sack list.
Watt had a career-high seven forced fumbles this season, which is a single-season franchise record and tied for the NFL lead in 2018. He recorded five games with at least 1.0 sack and one forced fumble (Weeks 3-4, 12, 15 and 17), which is the most games with a sack and a forced fumble in a season in his career. Since 2011, Watt is tied for second in the NFL in fumble recoveries (13) and tied for third in the league with a franchise-record 22 forced fumbles. He also ranks first in passes defensed by a defensive lineman (51) and fourth among defensive linemen in total tackles (455) since 2011.
Check out the best Week 17 images from Texans team photographer Zach Tarrant. Presented by Houston Methodist.