Originally written November 21, 2012 on Down and Distance:
Thanksgiving just got a bit more interesting. As the 9-1 Houston Texans travel to Detroit to take on the 4-6 Lions, one match-up to watch will be a bit more fun thanks to a bit of talk from Lions Center Dominic Raiola. Raiola sent a message to Texans DE J.J. Watt via Mlive.com’s Anwar Richardson, telling the star-studded Defensive End to bring it. When Raiola was asked what he thought of going up against one of the league’s premier pass-rushing-ball-batting-tackling-machines he responded with “bring it”. “I mean, he’s an explosive player,” Raiola said. “You know, whatever. Bring it.” When asked about his ability to bat down balls at the line of scrimmage, Raiola was a bit more clear in his message. “Just bring it,” He said. “We play top D-tackles every week, so J.J. Watt, bring it.” Texans star DE JJ Watt was given a bit of extra motivation for Thanksgiving this year. (Dave Einsel-Associated Press) How will Watt respond to being called out like that? His response was simple when Raiola’s comments were brought up in a conference call with Detroit’s media members. “Just watch the game and find out,” Watt said while laughing. Watt is having a monstrous 2012 season, and many have had him dubbed as this year’s Defensive player of the Year with his performances thus far into the season. He’s currently in third place for sacks on the season with 11.5 after leading the majority of the time, before multiple-sack games from Denver’s Von Miller  and San Francisco’s Aldon Smith. He also has a total of 11 batted balls at the line of scrimmage. The eight rotational players on Detroit’s D-Line this year have a combined four. Ndamukong Suh doesn’t think that’s a big deal though according to the Detroit news. “It’s not our focus here,” he said. “We get after the quarterback. In my opinion, when you are batting down balls you are not getting to the quarterback. You are standing still and not near the quarterback enough to hit him; that’s why you bat the ball down.” Suh only has one of those four batted balls for the defensive line, but it’s no big deal to him. “That’s about where I like that,” he said. “I’d rather have more sacks than batted passes.” Apparently he doesn’t think having impressive stat lines in both categories is possible, but Watt has done it – and he does have more Sacks than Batted balls, so by Suh’s standards he’s doing a good job, right? Detroit’s offensive line has given up 22 sacks on the year, J.J. Watt might be feasting on something other than Turkey this Thanksgiving!   The post Lions’ Dominic Raiola to JJ Watt: “Bring it” appeared first on DOWN & DISTANCE.

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