AFC South Q&A: How do you defend J.J. Watt?

Today's question: How do your teams go about handling J.J. Watt and how do they think they’ve done against him?

Mike Wells, Indianapolis Colts: Are we talking about handling him on defense or offense? That’s just how good he is. I go back to last October in Houston when thinking about how Watt is able to dominate a game. The Colts looked like they were on their way to blowing the Texans out -- up 24-0 at the end of the first quarter -- when Watt’s defensive effort got Houston back in the game. He had seven tackles, two sacks, three passes defended, four quarterback hits and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Texans’ 33-28 loss. You can't block Watt one-on-one. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck says you always have to be aware of where Watt is lined up because he constantly moves around. But the quarterback also added that you can’t strictly focus on Watt because that opens the door for the offense to make a mental mistake, and it potentially opens the door for another one of Houston’s defenders to make a big play.

Mike DiRocco, Jacksonville Jaguars: Until the 2014 season the Jaguars had managed to do a decent job against Watt, limiting him to 5.5 sacks in six meetings. However, he had six sacks in the two games against the Jaguars last season. The funny thing was the Jaguars felt they had done a good job against Watt. Maybe they did, though. Watt was absolutely dominant in 2014 and maybe he could have had four or five sacks in each game, and holding him to three was an accomplishment. The reality is Jacksonville wasn't equipped to handle him last season. The biggest issue with Watt is he lines up everywhere, so at some point every lineman has to deal with him. The Jaguars started two rookies next to each other (center Luke Bowanko and right guard Brandon Linder) and another player who had played just five games as a rookie (left tackle Luke Joeckel). Not exactly an ideal matchup, so the Jaguars tried double-teams with two offensive linemen and a tackle and tight end. They had backs chip him when they could. They rolled the quarterback away from him. The Jaguars believe they’ve upgraded their offensive line significantly in 2015, but we won’t find out if it’s Watt-proof until Oct. 18.

Paul Kuharsky, Tennessee Titans: Well, right guard Chance Warmack was the first-round pick two years ago, and he was partly the Titans’ guy because they were thinking about two annual matchups against Watt. Watt's been super disruptive against Tennessee, with 12 sacks in eight games, including two sacks in five of the past six matchups. I suppose the Titans think it could have been worse, considering on Nov. 30, 2014, the Titans' starting line featured three backups: Will Svitek at left tackle, Chris Spencer at center and Byron Stingily at right tackle. Coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t big on keeping extra people in to help block, even as the Titans were beat up on the line late last season. No matter who’s on the line and how good they are in 2015, they need to do more to try to slow Watt -- or he can control the game.