HTX Texans
J.J. Watt, New NFL Sheriff

J.J. Watt replaces Roger Goodell as NFL Sheriff, punks a Paris Hilton selfie QB and MVP lifts the Texans

J.J. Watt replaces Roger Goodell as NFL Sheriff, punks Paris Hilton QB

J.J. Watt Texans Titans hold
J.J. Watt tore up another opposing team's gameplan for the Houston Texans and found time to go Selfie police. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Arian Foster Titans leap
Arian Foster is making the spectacular look routine, dragging the Houston Texans into theAFC  playoff picture. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
DeAndre Hopkins Andre Texans
DeAndre Hopkins is quietly turning into a star in his second season with the Houston Texans. Photo by © Michelle Watson/
J.J. Watt Texans Titans hold
Arian Foster Titans leap
DeAndre Hopkins Andre Texans

You really almost have to pity the fool.

Zach Mettenberger didn't even know he was poking the beast, acting like a shaggy haired lout with no sense of place. The LSU rookie probably didn't even get the memo that J.J. Watt is the new sheriff of the NFL.

That's why J.J. Watt's mom stars in grocery store commercials and Mettenberger's doesn't though. Connie Watt raised her boy right.

And now in his age 25 season, he is confident and comfortable enough to enforce those values on the rest of the league. Especially on that despised quarterback breed.

When a rookie like Mettenberger commits sins against the game — too many damn selfies in this case — Watt is more than willing and able to play judge, jury and executioner. The punishment is definitely capital. Try two sacks, a forced fumble, a pass deflection that almost turns into another Pick-6 and a double digit loss for the uppity quarterback.

Zack Mettenberger may never take another picture in his life period now.

"It's just kind of a reminder, this is the National Football League not high school," Watt says in remarks that give an otherwise overlooked Texans-Titans game a little national buzz. "Welcome to the show."

And welcome to an even more vocal reign of Watt. There is the chance that some may see Watt's very public and pointed rebuke of Mettenberger as more than a smidge self righteous. J.J. lays it on pretty thick, doing the mock selfie celebration after one of his sacks and making it clear that Mettenberger's own Paris Hilton worthy spree of selfies triggered the whole thing.

When a rookie commits sins against the game, Watt is more than willing and able to play judge, jury and executioner

"I just . . . I take my job very seriously," Watt says in a podium interview shown on TV. "If I was a rookie quarterback being named the starter for the first time in the league, I feel like I'd be a little bit more focused than that.

"Maybe he'll learn from it. Maybe not. We won the game so that's all that matters."

What also matters to the now 4-4 Houston Texans — emphatic 30-16 winners of the first must-win game of the Bill O'Brien era — is that J.J. Watt's clearly more comfortable than ever speaking up as the leader of the team's defense. Watt's teammates have been eager for him to lead them for a few years now and he's embraced the responsibility like never before under O'Brien.

Heck, now Watt's not just laying down the law for Romeo Crennel's turnover creating defense. He's enforcing standards for the entire NFL.

Hey, it's not like Roger Goodell's been doing an exemplary job of that lately.

No other rookie quarterback is liable to disrespect the game — and his priceless starting opportunity — the way Mettenberger does by posting a cheesy selfie from the locker room before the game. Not after Judge Watt delivers his verdict of pain and humiliation.

More importantly for the Texans, offensive players are going to be even more on edge when they face Houston. They'll be petrified about doing anything that could possibly offend No. 99. Which plays right into Watt and the Texans' hands.

These Texans are winning games because they have two of the biggest stars in all of football. In O'Brien's first year, Houston is completely dependent on the blinding talents of Watt and offensive lifeline Arian Foster. When these two have extraordinary games — Foster's 173 total yards, three touchdown blitz of Tennessee serving as the current Exhibit A — the Texans are capable of playing with any team and pounding bad ones into submission.

 Zack Mettenberger may never take another picture in his life period now. 

When Foster or Watt are held in check though, these flawed Texans have no chance.

"I wish we were better, but we are what our record says we are," O'Brien says.

What the Texans also are is in position to have a chance at sneaking into the playoffs with more of those extraordinary efforts now. Especially with five of their eight remaining games in the crazy loud confines of NRG Stadium, beginning with Sunday's swing game with the former Texans-filled Philadelphia Eagles.

The Pittsburgh Steelers dropping 51 points on the shell-shocked Colts throws the Texans close Monday Night Football loss into new perspective. Why can't a J.J. and Arian show equal the playoffs in a volatile AFC?

J.J. Watt MVP Leadership

Leadership from the stars is more important than ever. Second-year safety D.J. Swearinger — who added to Mettenberger's pain with an interception — cannot be the only one oozing swag. Watt showing the way with his own determined fire and brimstone bravado is good for everyone in the locker room. Possessing a near Michael Jordan level gift for using the smallest of slights and maybe even somewhat inventing some when necessary (maybe a selfie is sometimes just a selfie) to fuel him, Watt only pushes the whole team by sharing his motivational drivers.

You can bet every player on Crennel's defense is pissed off about Mettenberger's selfies after Watt finishes ranting about them.

This is what truly great players do too. They get their teammates going too, rise the level of an entire locker room. This is why Watt is every bit the NFL MVP worthy of quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers this season. He's dragging others along with his greatness, elevating an entire franchise, giving it a chance at unlikely heights.

Yes, there's a new sheriff in the National Football League. Justin James Watt.

You don't want to be the sap that gets on his radar. Just ask the Selfie Quarterback. Whenever he's able to pull himself back together.