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With JJ Watt Out for the Year, Texans’ Super Bowl 54 Odds Listed at +3300

John Perrotto

by John Perrotto in NFL Football

Updated Apr 7, 2020 · 12:20 PM PDT

JJ Watt after a sack
How will the Texans defense pick up the slack without J.J. Watt? By Keith Allison (Flickr)
  • J.J. Watt sustained a season-ending torn pectoral muscle Sunday.
  • Watt is leading the NFL with 20 quarterback hits.
  • The Texans were a combined 9-15 without Watt in 2016 and 2017.

The Houston Texans pulled out a 27-24 victory over the visiting Oakland Raiders on Sunday in large part because of the play of Deshaun Watson.

Watson scrambled away from seemingly the entire Raiders defense before letting a pass fly toward the end zone. The ball somehow landed in the arms of tight end Darren Fells and the 9-yard touchdown pass with 6:26 left put the Texans ahead 27-24, their only lead of the day.

Houston’s victory was not without sacrifice though, as star defensive lineman and team leader J.J. Watt has been lost for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle.

Their Super Bowl odds are now listed at +3300 heading into Week 9.

Super Bowl 54 Odds

Team Odds
Patriots +225
Saints +500
Packers +800
49ers +800
Cowboys +1400
Chiefs +1400
Ravens +1800
Rams +1800
Vikings +1800
Eagles +2000
Texans +3300

Odds taken October 28th

Victory Comes at Major Cost

The win enabled the Texans (5-3) to stay within a half-game of the division-leading Indianapolis Colts (5-2) in the AFC South. However, without Watt the defense is going to need

At least the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Pro was able to find a little humor in his situation Sunday night.


Watt was having another fine season, leading the NFL with 20 quarterback hits. He also has four sacks, 24 tackles (four for a loss), one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Though he wasn’t necessarily on his way to winning a fourth DPOY award, Watt is ranked No. 10 among edge rushers by Pro Football Focus with an 86.7 grade.

Watt has now suffered a season-ending injury for the third time in four years. He missed the final 13 games in 2016 and the last 11 games of 2017 because of separate back injuries.

The Texans struggled both seasons after losing Watt, compiling a combined 9-15 record while he was on injured reserve.

Who Will Take Watt’s Place?

Carlos Watkins is listed behind Watt on the depth chart. The third-year player from Clemson has just six career starts, all coming as a rookie in 2017 after Watt was injured. Watkins has played sparingly this season and been credited with four tackles in four games.

“Unfortunately, we’ve been in this position before,” Texas coach Bill O’Brien said after the game. “There’s not going to be one guy that takes his place … but certainly, we’ll miss him.”

The Texans are 20th in the NFL in total defense, allowing 362.1 yards a game.  At 23.5 points allowed, they are 18th in scoring defense.

Losing Watt from a so-so defense puts even more pressure on Watson and the offense, which is fifth in both points (26.4) and total yards (396.0).

Texans’ Second-Half Outlook

The Texans play the Jacksonville Jaguars in London this upcoming Sunday before their bye week. Houston also has home games left against Indianapolis, New England, Denver and Tennessee and road trips to Baltimore, Tennessee and Tampa Bay.

Of those eight games, the Texans could be favored in as many as five. They figure to be underdogs against the Patriots, Ravens and Titans on the road.

If that held to form, then the Titans would finish with a 10-6 record. That could be enough to get them into the playoffs.

However, the Texans have never made it past the divisional round of the playoffs since entering the league in 2002 as an expansion franchise. It is difficult to imagine them even reaching the postseason without Watt, unless Watson has more magic up his sleeve.

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