Badgers in the NFL: Texans can’t win, but J.J. Watt can

J.J. Watt vs. Jaguars

With the recent rise of the Wisconsin college football program the Badgers in the NFL have had a similar uptick.

More and more guys are beginning to have a splash in the league and the guys over at Pro Football Focus (PFF) have an eagle eye on each one of them.  If you’re not familiar with PFF, you’re living in the stone age of modern football analysis. Here at The Sports Bank, we’re big supporters of what they do, so we’ve oriented our weekly check-up around what they’re saying about Badgers in the NFL.

It’s possible that the weekly Badgers in the NFL should be changed to J.J. Watt’s weekly showcase. That’s how dominant the Houston Texans’ defensive lineman has been despite his team’s NFL-worst 2-11 record.

J.J. Watt vs. Jaguars 2

1.) Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt

Badgers Tenure: 2009-10

Week 14 Play: “On defense all J.J. Watt did was deliver another performance (+8.0) that would be a career day for just about any other 3-4 defensive end but is only his sixth-highest single game grade of the season.” - PFF’s Analysis of the Texans’ 27-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

- Watt resumed his usual spot on PFF’s Team of the Week (14).

2.) Cleveland Browns OT Joe Thomas

Badgers Tenure: 2003-06

Week 14 Play: Joe Thomas, the best pass protecting LT in the game, still is. It’s been a while since I’ve said his name in any context so it’s probably worth reminding people that Thomas is still the guy who sets the standard in terms of keeping his quarterback clean.” - PFF’s Analysis of the Browns’ 27-26 loss to the New England Patriots.

3.) Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball

Badgers Tenure: 2009-12

Week 14 Play:In this game they didn’t need much in the way of variety to the attack, rather a simple and effective plan to feed Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno out of shotgun and pistol looks as a counter against a softened front. The two backs responded with matching, methodical efforts; 15 attempts for 77 yards with 43 after contact for Ball and 14 carries for 78 yards with 38 after contact for Moreno.”PFF’s Analysis of the Broncos’ 51-28 win over the Tennessee Titans.

4.) Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Badgers Tenure: 2011

Week 14 Play: “Coming into the game, quarterback Russell Wilson was our No. 2 QB grading at +24.6, but he struggled on his way to a -1.3 performance Sunday. It was by no means a horrible outing, but there were some uncharacteristic forced passes and questionable decisions.”PFF’s Analysis of the Seahawks’ 19-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

- Atlanta Falcons OG Peter Konz (2009-11) was part of an up-and-down offensive line in a 22-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Konz also received dishonorable mention for PFF’s ‘Had a Bad Day’ Team Week 14.

- Dallas Cowboys C Travis Frederick (2009-12) received honorable mention for PFF’s Team of the Week (14) and stays on the ‘Five To Watch’ in PFF’s Race for Rookie of the Year: “There’s a lot of negativity around Dallas but they can at least be positive about their first round pick.”

For an extensive list on all the Badgers in the NFL, check out the Badgers in the NFL page at

What did you think of the Badgers in the NFL in week 14? Do you think Watt will miss out on consecutive Defensive Player of the Year Awards because of how bad the Texans are? Let me know by commenting below.

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at

*Pictures obtained from


  1. JJ Watt is the best defensive player EVER and he’ll be recognized that way IF he stays healthy.

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