Last year, the Associated Press recognized the Texans' J.J. Watt as the Defensive Player of the Year. Although Watt had another phenomenal season in 2013, it's a virtual lock he won't win the AP's DPOY again this year. Right or wrong, players on 2-14 teams don't win those awards.
But Pro Football Focus? Those guys recognize what J.J. did this past season, even with the Texans being the worst team in the league. PFF just named J.J. Watt their Defensive Player of the Year. Sam Monson writes that, believe it or not, Watt may actually have been better in 2013 than he was in 2012:
Watt this season doesn’t have the gaudy numbers. He only sacked the quarterback 11 times, he only has 6 batted passes, but in play-by-play grading terms his season has actually been better than a year ago. As good as the seasons have been by everybody else in the NFL, J.J. Watt has been just a little bit better, even if this time the statistics don’t back it up.
They ran away from where he lined up, they double teamed him at times, and when they didn’t they made sure that they were passing too quickly for him to get to the quarterback. The point, though, is that in order to contain J.J. Watt you need to completely change your offense. He affects games like no other defender.
Monson's not done yet. He goes on to praise J.J. as "he best defender in football, and the best player period in the NFL." Not bad for a guy whose team has the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.