Texans' J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins selected to Pro Bowl

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt after one of his 13.5 sacks this season. AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith


J.J. Watt, DE, fourth Pro Bowl selection: The easiest call of any Pro Bowl selection. Even with a club-shaped cast limiting the availability of his left hand, Watt makes an impact in games. He has 50 solo tackles, 13.5 sacks, five batted passes and one fumble recovery. Though Watt won't talk about it much, the broken left hand makes things like tackling and shedding blocks more difficult. It has hurt his statistics lately, but opponents still plan for Watt's dominance and he still affects the way they play. That alone changes things for the Texans' defense and makes things easier for his teammates. Watt has also been an All-Pro selection in the three previous seasons, and I'd expect him to get another nod there.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, first Pro Bowl selection: It's only his third year in the NFL and Hopkins is already climbing the Texans' record books. He set a franchise record with 10 touchdowns in a season. He became the fastest player in team history to reach 200 catches. He reached 1,000 receiving yards in the first 10 games of this season, something no receiver had done in franchise history. And what's most incredible about Hopkins' numbers is that he has never played a season with just one quarterback. And every quarterback he has played for has marveled at his ability to catch anything they throw near him.

First alternate: Left tackle Duane Brown


Johnathan Joseph, CB: You don't get points for leadership and your impact in a locker room, so we'll forgive Pro Bowl voters for not considering that. Joseph has been consistently tasked with leading the Texans coverage of top receivers and they haven't fared well against him. Only three times this season has an opposing receiver caught passes for at least 100 yards and Joseph has made some big plays for the Texans. Most recently he forced a fumble that all but ended the Colts' comeback bid against the Texans on Sunday.