How many men does it take to stop TJ Watt?
Apparently there are more than four.
In the last offensive of the Seahawks on Sunday evening in their 23-20 loss defeat to the Steelers – with the memory of his series end sack just a few games before, still painfully fresh – Seattle took off with an offensive tackle Brandon Shell from Watts right shoulder and narrow Ending Gerald Everett off his left shoulder. Their job was clear: keep Watt away from quarterback Gene Smith.
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As Watt started moving forward, Everett stepped forward to hire him and actually hire Watts face mask before it was thrown away. Shell slid behind Everett to provide a second line of protection. When Watt got to Shell, he started moving Shell backwards and collapsing the bag, causing DeeJay Dallas to run back from the backfield and briefly added another barrier between Watt and the QB.
Smith sensed trouble from the right, so he stepped forward to disappear and perhaps find an open phone, but not without Watt’s noticing. When Watt left his lane and moved right to chase Smith, center Kyle Fuller was hoping to slow Watt down but wasn’t fast enough and could only brush him with a free hand.
Watt then slammed Smith with his right arm, which came down like a hammer, tossing the ball onto the Heinz Field grass at the Seattle 16-yard line, where it was picked up by linebacker Devin Bush and returned to the Seattle 16 – then a short detour to the opposite end zone.
Two games later, Chris Boswell kicked the game-winning field goal.
“I don’t think anyone is surprised by his ability to deliver in these moments,” said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin of Watt. “Yeah, he’s a great player, but it’s about what he’s ready to do in terms of preparation and conditioning and all of those things.
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“There’s nothing mystical about this game, man, we’re talking about a guy who is really talented, works extremely hard, is hyper-focused, prepared physically and mentally. That happens.”
It was Watt’s second second sack in overtime. The first put Seattle out of field goal range after winning the toss and advancing into Steeler’s territory. He also hit three passes and made a total of six tackles without assistance. He now has seven sacks in five games.
This was the player the Steelers made the highest-paid defensive player in the sport the week of the opening game with a four-year contract for $ 112 million. He’s been named Pro Bowl for the past three seasons and All-Pro for the past two years.
If you add up the total contract value of the four players who tried to stop Watts from making the groundbreaking game, that adds up to just 17.5 percent of Watts deal. So the math is checked.
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“I’m exhausted,” Watt said to NBC’s Michele Tafoya with a laugh. “I tried to catch my breath. We had to get out for another series after screaming so much after the first sack. I was just glad that I could put it together for someone else. “