(Reuters) - Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt had “a blast” against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday on offense and defense as he added his name to the record books with his fourth touchdown of the season.
The 2012 and 2013 Pro Bowl selection lined up on offense and made a superb over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone to give quarterback Ryan Mallett his first career touchdown pass with 7:09 left in the first quarter.
Watt became the first defensive lineman to score four touchdowns in a season since 1948.
“That was fun,” Watt, 25, tweeted after the game which the Texans won 23-7 in near-freezing temperatures at FirstEnergy Field in Cleveland.
He later told reporters: “I was telling the offensive linemen, there’s nothing better than scoring a touchdown and the whole offense runs over to congratulate you.
“It’s such a cool feeling. I really, really enjoyed today. It was a blast.”
With his fourth touchdown of the season, Watt emulated the achievements of fellow defensive linemen Ray Poole of the New York Giants and Jack Zilly of the Los Angeles Rams in 1948.
“We’ve been practicing that for a while,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said as he spoke about the play that yielded a two-yard touchdown for Watt.
Widely regarded as one of the best defensive players in the league, Watt forced a fumble by Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer, recorded a sack and later recovered a fumble in a rugged display of dominance.
However the 6-foot-5 defensive lineman was also charged with two ‘roughing the passer’ penalties, the second of them leading to Cleveland’s first touchdown on a pass from Hoyer to wide receiver Andrew Hawkins.
“He’s a special player,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said of Watt. “You run to him, you run away from him. You try to do different things. He’s an excellent player.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry