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J.J. Watt a Force for the Cardinals in Sunday's Win

Watt stepped up with a crucial performance in Sunday’s victory over the 49ers.

The momentum was on the 49ers side as they drove down the field while trailing 10-7 against the Cardinals on Sunday. 

With just under eight minutes left in the game, San Francisco had the ball in Cardinals territory on fourth down-and-four. The 49ers lined up to go for it. 

Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt faced a double team, something he had to deal with for much of the game. 

49ers quarterback Trey Lance took the snap, dropped back and fired the ball over the middle. Watt leapt in front of the two offensive linemen with his right hand extended upward. He got his mitt on the oncoming pass to batt it away. 

The Cardinals took over, scored a touchdown and eventually finished off a 17-10 victory to improve to 5-0. 

Watt was a disruptive a force up front throughout the game, consistently winning his one-on-ones when he didn't face max protection. 

"He's such a massive presence in there," head coach Kliff Kingsbury said postgame. "He's been tremendous. I think he's continuing to get comfortable in our system, how we do things and I expect him to get better and better."

Watt finished the day with three quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and his first pass breakup as a Cardinal. 

With the Texans, he batted down 61 throws in 10 seasons.

Watt had a strong first four games with Arizona, even if it did not show in the stat sheet with sacks or tackles for loss. 

He's been a disrupter, with the third-highest pass rush win rate in the NFL at his position, per ESPN. 

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"I'm continuing to improve every week," Watt said on Thursday. "I'm here to win ... (sacks) will come, I mean they come in bunches in this league."

Watt not only had to deal with extra attention from the offensive line, but also a mobile quarterback in rookie Trey Lance. 

He still managed to chase Lance, throwing off the timing of multiple plays. 

In the second quarter, the 49ers had the ball on the Cardinals one-yard line. It was third down, and they ran play-action. 

Watt got around tackle Mike McGlinchey and wrapped around Lance's ankles. The rookie flung the ball out of the back of the end zone. 

On fourth down, Watt got right through the line again, but Lance rolled out to his right toward the pylon. Fellow Cardinals defenders Isaiah Simmons, Tanner Vallejo and Chandler Jones got there in time to stuff Lance just short. 

"Much respect to the (defensive) lineman taking double teams and the linebackers trying to to cap things because when you have a running quarterback, it's very hard for everyone to have a gap because that quarterback adds a whole extra gap," safety Budda Baker said postgame. 

Watt also drew a couple of offensive holding calls, and perhaps some others that were not called. 

The Cardinals had game-saving defensive stands throughout the afternoon, as the offense struggled for a long portion of it. Arizona stopped San Francisco on four of five fourth-down attempts. 

"I think it was good for us to kind of prove that we could win a gritty game like that," defensive tackle Zach Allen said postgame. 

Watt came to the Cardinals to win, and because of his performance on Sunday, they did.