Former Teammates J.J. Watt, Kevin Zeitler Square Off in AFC Wild Card Game

Two former University of Wisconsin-Madison football players from Waukesha County play for the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals.

When the Houston Texans take on the Cincinnati Bengals at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, J.J. Watt won’t be the only local on the field.

Kevin Zeitler, of Waukesha, played football with Watt at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Zeitler, a Wisconsin Lutheran High School graduate, was drafted in 2012 by the Bengals and has started in all 16 games this season as an offensive guard.

Watt, of Pewaukee, had high praises for his former teammate this week. Watt returned an interception for a touchdown in last year’s playoffs against the Bengals. The Texans defeated the Bengals to advance to the next round of the playoffs in January 2012.

"He's a heck of a player,” said Watt in an interview with media in Cincinnati. “I have a lot of respect for him and the way he approaches everything. I love Kevin. He's a great guy.”

Watt, whose father is a Waukesha Fire Department lieutenant, has been nicknamed J.J. Swatt this year for his ability to knock down the football in the air. He’s also been called “Megawatt” and “The Milkman.” Watt’s a clear favorite among Texans fans, having been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September and December.

Zeitler watched the playoff games last year from Arizona – not yet knowing he would also be drafted in the first round like Watt. Watt “just make plays somehow to affect the team,” Zeitler told CBS Sports.

“It’s just insane the things he can do,” Zeitler said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch. “He has really long arms and takes advantage of them. He can swim over you, he can pull and rip you. He has very few weaknesses, if any. The big thing, because he jumps and swats so many balls down, you have to get on him and hold him down. You can’t let him jump.”

The Houston Texans/Cincinnati Bengals AFC Wild Card playoff game will be aired at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on NBC. The game is taking place in Houston at Reliant Stadium.

Steve Edlund January 05, 2013 at 02:04 AM
2 excellent athletes! As for me and my household, we're pulling for ya Kevin! Good luck to J.J. too!


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