Connect with us

Steelers News

Steelers T.J. Watt Not Focused On Sacks, Just Victories Going Into Week 11 Showdown

Jared Wickerham / Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers T.J. Watt Not Focused On Sacks, Just Victories Going Into Week 11 Showdown

The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for a return engagement with the Cincinnati Bengals. The first time they met in the season opener the defense was ferocious, but they lost T.J. Watt near the end of the game for half the season. Minkah Fitzpatrick turned the remaining time in the game into a personal vendetta against the Bengals and Mitch Trubisky found a way to get the win 23-20.

Steelers Watt Dalton

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom Puskar)Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Tom Puskar)

Watt returned last week against the New Orleans Saints and the Steelers moved to 2-0 this season in games that the Pro Bowler plays. The remainder of the 2022 season may be a referendum on the offensive side of the football, but with the return of the reigning defensive player of the year, a glimmer of hope is emerging in Pittsburgh that the defense will start posting significant counting numbers and dominating football games.

“You never go into a game expecting certain stats,” Watt told reporters. “You play the best you can and obviously come out with a win. There are no preconceived notions about statistical things, just stop the run and pass and put our offense in position to win the game.”

Steelers Watt

Photo Credit: Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

Watt tied Michael Strahan’s NFL sack record during the 2021 season in just 15 games. If he remains healthy for the remainder of the season, he will play in 10 regular season games for the Steelers and likely will post his lowest sack total since entering the league in 2017 from the Wisconsin Badgers. NFL fans who only see the highlights of Watt just cannot appreciate the motor he brings to games on a weekly basis.

NFL Executives Barely Acknowledge Steelers LB TJ Watt In Latest 2022 ESPN Poll; Praise Myles Garrett Instead

It is why it is so infuriating to Steelers fans when he is compared to players like Myles Garrett who may be gifted with natural talent but don’t have a tenth of the desire to be great. Garrett and the Bosa brothers may be near Watt’s ability in pressuring quarterbacks, but they are not anywhere close to his ability to change a game. He is the single most dominant defensive force in football right now and a rare pleasure for fans to watch.

“I think it was just creating good matchups,” Watt said about the defense against the Saints. “I mean they were keeping guys in, chipping all day so you can’t put as many guys out on routes. It helps the guys in the back end of the coverage. We were able to fluster him a little bit, get back there and make him (Andy Dalton) hold onto it a bit longer. Being able to finish at the quarterback, there weren’t many he was able to get out of.”

Steelers Highsmith

Photo Credit: Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers sacked Andy Dalton twice, but they held in tight ends and running backs all day to slow down Watt. Alex Highsmith got home for two sacks, but the Saints were constantly throwing quickly to keep the All-Pro from getting home against Dalton. The route tree was different and so was the protection which led to the shut-out performance in the second half after it appeared the Saints had figured out the Steelers’ defense, tying the game just before the half at 10-10.

Steelers Watt

Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham / Pittsburgh Steelers

Watt doesn’t say very much off the field and isn’t the dynamic personality his brother J.J. Watt is for the Arizona Cardinals. He lets his play speak for itself and by flexing the Steelers off of Sunday night football, the NFL deprived a national audience of watching just how much attention he commands on a per-play basis.

The Bengals offensive line struggled mightily against the Steelers on opening day, and the defense was impeccable. At 4:25 on Sunday, Watt will be looking to help the Steelers sweep the defending AFC champions who will be missing their best playmaker in Ja’marr Chase. Pittsburgh is an afterthought at 3-6 but if they win Sunday afternoon, maybe the NFL will have to consider putting them back in prime time.

What do you think Steeler Nation? Are the Steelers about to unleash 60 minutes of destruction on Joe Burrow and the cocky Bengals? Comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

#SteelerNation

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julia

    November 18, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    GOOD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Steelers News