Stopping J.J. Watt has been an impossible task for NFL teams this season, but a Philadelphia Eagles offensive line that has given up the fewest sacks in the NFL may as well-suited for the task as any in the NFL. Watt is turning in an MVP-caliber season, with seven sacks (fifth in the NFL), seven pass deflections (16th overall, first among front seven players) and three touchdowns.
Eagles center Jason Kelce isn't impressed, however. Or rather, he may be growing tired with answering how his teammates plan to slow down the defensive end. Via CSN Philly:
"We don't care who we're playing, we're just playing our offense," Kelce said. "I don't care if we have Jesus Christ himself on the field, we're running our offense."
The Eagles are slowly returning to full strength up front. Kelce has been taking first-team reps this week, and is expected to make play for time since suffering a sports hernia in Week 3. The team has also weathered a four-game suspension to right tackle Lane Johnson, and injuries to his replacements. Johnson is back in the lineup, too, but the Eagles may now have to come for a contingency for right guard Todd Herremans, who suffered a bicep injury this week.
The Texans are a middling pass rushing team in terms of sacks, with 15 through Week 8. They could get a boost from another week of action from Jadeveon Clowney, who looked rusty in his return from a knee injury last Sunday. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly downplayed Watt's importance when speaking with media:
"As great a player as J.J. Watt is, they've got some other really, really good players," Kelly said. "So if your sole attention is just on stopping 99, you can do a great job of stopping 99, but [Whitney] Mercilus, Clowney, [Brooks] Reed, all those other guys are really, really good football players, too."