Watt's rejection was a fitting end to a dominating night by the Houston Texans' Mutombo-like second-year-pro, keying a 23-17 victory over the New York Jets. Watt is impacting games like no 3-4 defenisve end we've ever seen.
Watt has made the tipped pass a cool football play. His first tip was intercepted by Texans cornerback Brice McCain and returned 86 yards at the end of the first half. It prevented at least three points by the Jets and resulted in three by the Texans. That's a six-point swing.
Watt's next blocked pass also came in the red zone. Sanchez had receiver Chaz Schilens wide open for a touchdown, but Watt wouldn't let the ball get there. The Jets settled for a field goal. That's four points off the board.
Watt also was stout in the running game, stopping the Jets for 1 yard or less on four plays.
This game felt like the Super Bowl to the Jets. They pulled out every stop imaginable, from a fake punt to an onside kick, and managed a kickoff return for a touchdown. They were set up in the fourth quarter with a chance to win in a one-score game. On third-and-10 from the Houston 35, Watt sacked Sanchez to push New York out of field-goal range. That's another potential three points.
You simply can't dominate on defense more than Watt has to start this season. (He has 8.5 sacks to go with his eight passes defensed.)
On a night when the Texans' passing attack was a little uneven, Watt carried them to a 5-0 record. These are the types of performances that NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards are made of.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.