Sorry, J.J., Kareem Jackson is the Texans defensive MVP
At the midway point of different sports’ seasons, lots of media outlets like to do midseason awards. You’re safe here because this isn’t that article.
That being said, I truly believe Kareem Jackson is the Texans’ defensive MVP this season. I know most of you are J.J. Watt Stans. Yes, Watt is having a great season. Before you dismiss my idea, hear me out.
Kareem is 30 years old and in a contract year. For a guy who can’t run well, and never really has, he has been playing his best ball. Oh, you need stats? Through nine games he has 51 total tackles (22 off his career high), two interceptions (two off his career high), two forced fumbles (one third of his career total), and a fumble recovery (one third of his career total).
As of last few years, he primarily played as the nickel corner, while Jonathan Joseph and Kevin Johnson played outside. Coming into the year, he was asked to move to safety in a move to help bolster the defensive backfield. He made the move and played well there. That was until the team had depth issues at corner due to injuries. He was asked to move back to corner and his play level remained high. Not only has he been one of the team’s best tacklers, but he’s also been one of its best cover guys.
For you Watt Stans, I’m going to have to burst your bubble. Of his nine sacks, only one came against a team that is currently .500 or better (Dolphins are 5-5 right now). Three of those came against the Giants (that team’s only win until last night). We’re talking the same Giants that released two of their starting offensive lineman this season. Sure he needed a few games to get going after coming off back to back seasons lost to injury, but this is similar to a top college team padding stats against Directional State University. Nine sacks is still nine sacks, but change the game with sacks and forced fumbles against playoff contenders.
A good pass rush will make defensive backs look better than they really are. On the flip side, if the defensive backs cover well, a pass rush will get coverage sacks. This isn’t a knock on Watt. This is to draw attention to a guy who’s been often looked over in his career as a Texan.
I’m not a huge fan of Jackson’s play, but I call it how I see it, and he’s played well this year. The true question will be do they bring him back, and if so, at what price? Kareem will be 31 next season. Defensive backs over the age of 30 tend to fall off faster than a mumble rapper after their second album, or an old school rock band trying to tour with new music instead of playing their hits. Maybe he bucks the trend. History says that won’t happen. So enjoy the second half of the season and what Kareem brings to the table because it may never get better than this.