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J.J. Watt raises $37,097,248 for hurricane relief

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  • By Edward Lewis NFL.com
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J.J. Watt helped lead the Houston Texans to a 13-9 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. Afterward, most of the things he wanted to address were not about his aid in the Texans' victory, but rather his fight to help raise funds for the city he plays for.

Watt has been instrumental in collecting money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey earlier this month. He closed his Houston Flood Relief Fund on Friday afternoon after raising a total of $37,097,248 from 209,428 donors.

Speaking with Rich Eisen, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin and Steve Mariucci after Thursday's win on NFL Network, the big defensive end explained how he'll use the Texans' extra days off this week to go back and help Houston in its recovery efforts.

"This next couple days is very big," Watt said. "We're stopping the fundraising on Friday at 5 p.m. to make sure that we can figure out exactly what we're going to do. We've already been in the process of that. I'm meeting with organizations and people that are in Houston, because we're trying to make sure the money stays in Houston and the surrounding areas and it goes directly to the people, not to overhead cost.

"So I'm working with organizations and I'm going to get the best organizations in each category that I want to help. Things like rebuilding houses. Things like food. Things like schools for the kids. Making sure that we take care of all these different areas."

Watt raised nearly $40 million for the city of Houston. He said, though, that as much as the money will help, the Texans' victory over the Bengals will lift some spirits as well.

"It's silly to say, because this is just a game, but wins go a long way," Watt said of what Thursday night's victory will do for the city's morale. "So this was really good for us."

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