Third times the charm. Pittsburgh Steelers’ outside linebacker TJ Watt has been named the AP Defensive Player of the Year!
— NFL (@NFL) February 11, 2022
The wait is finally over for Watt, who has been a candidate, and more than worthy, for the award the previous two seasons. Watt had a season to remember this year. He tied Michael Strahan’s single season sack record, with 22.5 sacks, and did this in only 15 games played(as well as being pulled in a few games due to injury). Simply put, he was on another level this season.
To go along with 22.5 sacks, Watt compiled 64 total tackles, 39 QB hits, 21 tackles for loss, 5 forced fumbles, and 7 passes defended. He was named to his fourth straight Pro Bowl, and his third straight First Team All Pro selection. He was an absolute game wrecker.
As always, Watt continued to improve from his previous season, which has been an unbelievable trend of his. This is his second year in a row leading the league in sacks. Watt is now fifth in all time sacks for the Steelers, and trails the all time leader, James Harrison, by only 8.5 sacks. By this time next year he could and likely will be the teams all time sack leader in only his 6th season. He continues to dominate the league, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Watt joins Steelers legends Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Joe Greene, Rod Woodson, and Troy Polamalu as award winners. All of those previously mentioned players are in the Hall of Fame.
We congratulate Watt on the award, as it has been a long time coming. Watching him play week in and week out is truly a privilege, and we look forward to continue to watch his already historic career.