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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


OPINION: J.J. Watt is an Arizona Cardinal. So what?


“File:J.J. Watt 2018—2.JPG” by Denverjeffrey is licensed under CC BY 4.0

The NFL world was shocked on March 1 when five-time Pro Bowler and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, announced that after ten years in Houston, he would leave the only franchise he ever played for to come to the Arizona Cardinals. 

Watt posted a photo of himself on Twitter working out in a Cardinals shirt, prompting fans to freak out when they found out the news. My first thought was, “Huh, I guess Watt cares more about money than ever winning a Super Bowl.” 

When you look at Watt’s rumored destinations such as the Bills, Browns and Packers, it’s hard to imagine thinking anything else. The Cardinals are nowhere near competing for a Super Bowl, much less an NFC West title. 

Last year, Arizona finished with an 8-8 record and third overall in the NFC West. They would have probably finished fourth if 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had played the whole season. This division also has quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford. While Watt may add a defensive presence against these guys, it still isn’t enough. 

The Cardinals haven’t made it to the playoffs since 2015 and Watt’s playoff record isn’t anything to boast about. Since he was drafted in 2011, Watt has only won three playoff games. Two of them were in his first two years, and the third win came seven years later in 2019. He has also never made it past the divisional round. 

With a team that looks to compete in the playoffs, it doesn’t help that your headline player has never played in an NFC championship game. 

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Another blemish on Watt’s career is his injury history. In 2015, Watt had surgery on five torn muscles in his torso, groin and upper legs. In 2016, he only played three games before a herniated disc in his back cost him the entire season. In 2017, he fractured his leg and only played five games. Finally, in 2019, he tore his pectoral muscle and missed half the season. 

Also, has anybody else looked at who is in the NFC? Does anybody think the Cardinals stand a chance against the Rams, Seahawks or the Packers? I didn’t even mention the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and you all know how I feel about the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady.

Sorry Cardinal fans. I hate to burst your bubble, but the J.J. Watt signing doesn’t change anything. The Cardinals will still be an average team fighting to finish 0.500. The only big change is that J.J. Watt will be watching the playoffs from his couch in Phoenix instead of Houston. 

Sean (he/him) is a Business Administration major from California. He enjoys playing video games and watching Disney+ in his free time.

Follow Sean Fagan on Twitter

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