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On Sunday night, the Bears will face not just one of the best teams in the NFL, but one of the best players on defense. J.J. Watt has been frightening quarterbacks. He has the skills to completely ruin a drive with sacks and pass disruptions.
He leads the league with 10.5 sacks, 1.5 more than Clay Matthews despite playing in one less game. He has also broken up 10 passes, earning him the nickname "J.J. Swatt." Considering how the Bears did against Matthews, the offensive line has a big job on their hands Sunday evening.
Left tackle Gabe Carimi knows this better than anybody. Watt was his teammate at Wisconsin, and Carimi would face him in practice.
"J.J.'s a great player," Carimi said. "I played a lot against him (in practice) at Wisconsin. I'm always happy when a Wisconsin guy's doing well, but now I get to block him. So now he can't do well against us, obviously, but I always wish him luck."
The problem is that the Texans use Watt much like the Bears use Julius Peppers. They are not held to one part of the line, and create match-up problems when the offense doesn't know where he's coming from.
While Carimi said he doesn't have any secret moves to employ on Watt, Bears fans hope he and the rest of the line can figure out a way to neutralize the man who has knocked over so many quarterbacks. If not, it's going to be a long evening for Jay Cutler.