You're better off poking a bear than J.J. Watt.
Kendall Wright — the Tennessee Titans excitable and not exactly Baylor stereotypical third-year wideout — finds this out the hard way. Somehow, Wright decides it's a good idea to mock Watt's Selfie Sack celebration (the one Watt did to mock Wright's quarterback Zach Mettenberger back in Week 8) after scoring a touchdown that makes it 24-7 Texans.
If you cannot see the steam coming out of Watt's ears on this postcard perfect, roof open day at NRG Stadium, it's not hard to imagine it.
And what does Watt do shortly after? He knocks Mettenberger out of the game, smashing the LSU rookie into the ground on one of his typical high-intensity rushes. Mettenberger will leave the game with a right shoulder injury. The Titans are suddenly reduced to turning back to Jack Locker. And Locker promptly shows why he was benched in the first place, throwing an interception on his very first pass.
Who thinks messing with J.J. Watt is a good idea again?
Watt does not believing in backing down. He and several Titans got into it verbally during a timeout after Wright's mocking celebration.
"Yeah, there were some words," Watt says. "That’s the way it goes. If you don’t like it, maybe you should pick a different job.”
More than a few quarterbacks probably have considered a career change after facing Watt.
It's not exactly a straight cause and effect. Watt shows genuine concern for Mettenberger after he's hurt, crouching by the quarterback while medical personnel look at his shoulder. Watt tries to inflict pain on quarterbacks every play of every game.
Still . . . do you want to be mocking No. 99? Who hands J.J. Watt additional fire? Isn't that the very definition of insanity.
The Titans quarterback could be excused for lining up to pound Wright. For knocking the Titans' best quarterback out of the game is only the warmup for Watt.
He blows by a blocker to hit Locker as the quarterback cocks the football to throw, forcing a fumble — and returning it 14 yards. That sets up Watt's third receiving touchdown of the season, a now rather routine (for Watt) difficult one-yard catch that makes it 45-14 Houston. Even before Watt goes touchdown again, the NRG Stadium crowd is chanting "MVP! MVP! MVP!"
If six defensive takeaways and three offensive touchdowns (not to mention double digit sacks) are not the stuff of an NFL MVP, it's hard to argue what is.
"I think he's deserving of that kind of consideration," Texans owner Bob McNair says of the growing Watt MVP buzz, which CultureMap first argued way back on Sept. 28.
"You wouldn't find another defensive lineman with five touchdowns (overall)," second-year safety D.J. Swearinger says. "You don't find some tight ends with that. Some offensive players don't have five touchdowns. Five touchdowns speak for itself."
Except when an opponent dares to poke the Watt — and No. 99's screaming for himself. In the timeout huddles and with his play.
Yeah, you probably don't want to rile that guy up even more than usual.