There is no doubt that the best player on the Pittsburgh Steelers is reigning Defensive Player of the Year, T.J. Watt. The All-Pro is coming off a season of 64 total tackles, 22.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, seven passes defended and five forced fumbles. If you ask former New York Giants‘ great, Lawrence Taylor, that was more than enough to win NFL MVP back in 1986. Taylor remains the last defensive player to win the MVP award, mainly in part because of how overwhelmingly involved quarterbacks and running backs are in a team’s success in modern days.
Watt received no love for the award last year, but if he keeps putting up Hall of Fame numbers, he should get way more attention in regards to the most touted individual award throughout the league. Taylor had 105 total tackles, 20.5 sacks, five passed defended and two forced fumbles in his outstanding year.
Unfortunately, in 2021, numbers similar weren’t close to good enough for Watt. The key to look at is the tackles. Taylor’s 105 tackles paired with his sacks lead one to assume he was involved in almost every single play. He was a game wrecker, just like Watt, so the key for the Steelers star will be to stay healthy, be involved even more and somehow be better in 2022.
Is that possible? Well of course it is. Watt was motivated when he was snubbed for the defensive award back in 2021 and then when winning in 2022, said that the prestigious award makes him even more motivated. Other than team accomplishments, what else could Watt want more than to be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player? Sure, the likelihood is a long shot, but he has the best odds to do so out of any defensive player along with Micah Parsons and Aaron Donald, according to Vegas Insider.
Out of any defensive player in the NFL, along with maybe Donald, Watt is one of the more likely to even have a slim chance to make a run at the award. After all, he has dominated offenses that go up against the Steelers since 2018:
Most SACKS in the #NFL since 2018:
1. T.J. Watt – 65.0
2. Aaron Donald – 59.0
3. Myles Garrett – 51.5
4. Cameron Jordan – 47.5
5. Chandler Jones – 43.5
6. Chris Jones – 41.0
7. Shaquil Barrett – 40.5
8. Robert Quinn – 38.5
9. Khalil Mack – 36.0
10. DeForest Buckner – 36.0 pic.twitter.com/DXMjdk7EI8
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) July 1, 2022
One thing that can boost Watt’s chances are if there is somehow a shortage of dominant quarterback play in 2022. The more issues throughout the league, the more everyone throughout the NFL will pay attention to the defensive players who are causing issues for top offensive teams and players. The NFL has become an offensive driven league, so if Watt continues to remind opponents and the entire league that he alone can ruin their day week in and week out, he might receive some consideration.
Watt will be a part of conversation if Steelers defense is best in NFL
The Steelers also need to have a much better year than expected and it would need to be because of the defense and Watt leading the way. A team with 11+ wins, a top five defense tied in with the NFL’s former best defensive player could lead to some serious conversations. Watt would need 20+ sacks as well and even more tackles, forced fumbles and even an interception or two to jump into the conversation, but who would doubt this guy?
This would be a crazy anomaly as we haven’t seen it since 1986, but if there is one defensive player in the NFL that currently has the talent, motivation and dominant capability to get some attention for the award, it is Watt for the Steelers.
Do you think we could season T.J. Watt win an MVP for the Steelers? Let us know in the comments below!