Sep 27, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) reacts during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
3-4 Defensive Line
Defensive End: J.J. Watt, Muhammad Wilkerson
Nose Tackle: Brandon Williams
September 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams (98) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
J.J. Watt hasn’t been an eye-dropping sensation in 2015 like he’s been in years past, but that doesn’t mean that the Texans’ defensive end hasn’t been dominant. Watt has 19 tackles, four sacks, four pass deflections and eight stuffs on the season. Muhammad Wilkerson is easily the best 3-4 defensive end outside of J.J. Watt; he has 21 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two pass deflections, two stuffs and a forced fumble so far this season. His impact has been strongly felt, as the New York Jets have taken off to a 3-1 start.
Brandon Williams has quietly and quickly developed into the NFL’s best nose tackle. He isn’t much of a pass-rusher, but nose tackles aren’t really supposed to rush the passer anyways. Williams has 21 tackles, two stuffs and a pass deflection on the season, and he has opened up lanes for his teammates to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis.
Nose Tackle: Dan Williams