Friends, Chiefs fans, non-gentlemen (don't act like you're a gentleman. I don't believe you), lend me your eyeballs.
I come to praise Justin Houston, not to bury him in the late 20s of NFL top 100 player rankings.
I've been spending time watching the Chiefs 2014 games for the zillionth time or so. While doing so, I took some pictures. I then tweeted those pictures because I'm incapable of not loving all of you.
There's been some debate about just how good Justin Houston is. Why that debate exists, I have no idea. It should not. Justin Houston is the absolute best player at his position in the NFL, and it's not particularly close.
Why? Because he can do everything.
Let's look at a series of photos from one game. Here's Justin Houston winning with speed around the edge. pic.twitter.com/6CGhTg73Im— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) June 25, 2015
Here's Houston winning with strength, shoving the OL (who was cheating outside) on his heels to create room. Sack. pic.twitter.com/hCuzJW5FEK— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) June 25, 2015
A quarter later, Houston winning with handfighting, getting the RT's hands off him and flailing in the air instead. pic.twitter.com/EkoCUx02Wt— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) June 25, 2015
And finally, here's Houston winning with motor. Never stopped moving, OL lost him. Ran down Rivers for the sack. pic.twitter.com/lA8sDkJr1Y— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) June 25, 2015
Houston can destroy you with his speed. He can destroy you with his strength. He can destroy you with wonderful handfighting skills (we will always owe Tamba Hali a debt of thanks for this). He can destroy you with the fact that he's relentless and never, ever stops.
There is not "best" way to block Justin Houston when trying to protect your quarterback. Cheat outside and he will absolutely throw you aside and get the inside edge. lay back and wait for a speed rush either direction and he will bull rush you RIGHT into your quarterback's lap. Don't watch your hands for a second and he'll rip them off his body and leave you grasping air. Think the play is over? It wasn't, and he's hitting your quarterback.
Houston is the Jamaal Charles of pass rushers. A few guys have his speed. A few guys have his strength. A few guys have his technique and hand fighting. A few guys have his motor. But literally NO ONE (outside of one alien named Watt) has it all.
Oh, and unlike most other pass rushers, he's not one dimensional.
That awkward moment when you try to block Justin Houston but he shoves you backward 2 full yards and stuffs the run. pic.twitter.com/yWnTGIOQ6E— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) June 25, 2015
Houston is a beast in all phases of the game. He also sniffs out screens as well as anyone in the league and can run stride for stride with RB's and TE's down the field.
There are maybe a half dozen non-quarterbacks in the league I'd trade Houston for. Actually, now that I really think about it, that number is smaller. No RB or WR would be worth it. No other LB is better than him. The CB who I'd even think about it is Richard Sherman. No safety makes as big an impact.
So nevermind. There's J.J. Watt, with maybe consideration of Sherman and Ndamukong Suh. That's it. He's that good.
Here's to many more years of watching Houston do what he does.