Add another accolade to J.J. Watt's rapidly expanding curriculum vitae. The Pro Football Writers Association has voted the fourth-year phenom as the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, to absolutely no one's surprise. They summed up why down below:
- Watt, in his fourth season, had 78 total tackles and 20.5 sacks.
- He led the NFL with 50 quarterback hits, 29 tackles for loss and five fumble recoveries. He ranked second in the league in sacks, tied for second in defensive touchdowns (two) and tied for third in forced fumbles (four).
- He posted a sack in 12 games, including each of the Texans’ final five contests and had a pair of three-sack games.
- Watt also had one of the most-unique seasons in NFL history as he scored 32 points on three receiving touchdowns, a fumble return touchdown, an interception return touchdown and a safety.
- Watt was the first defensive lineman since Chicago Bears DE Connie Mack Berry in 1944 to have at least five touchdowns in a season and the first player since Chicago Bears DB J.C. Caroline in 1956 to score multiple touchdowns on offense and defense in the same season.
- Watt was the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September and December and was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Weeks 4 and 11.
This is the second PFWA Defensive Player of the Year award for Watt, who was also selected in 2012.
As for the the group's MVP? You guessed it: it's Aaron Rodgers. As per usual, the award was handed to the best quarterback on a playoff team, and really, I can't blame them. Rodgers had a brilliant year at quarterback while leading the Packers to yet another division title. Watt was otherworldly, but his Texans narrowly missed making the playoffs.
So which player was ultimately more "valuable" then, when one's performance lead to a playoff berth while the other one is sitting at home doing push-ups? We all know Watt is the best player in football, but sadly, not the most valuable. It stinks, but that's the reality of today's NFL.
As for the AP MVP award, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl, this vote by the PFWA likely means Watt won't win that award either. Check out their results since 2000, side by side.
The AP's list (left) is nearly identical to the PFWA's list, save for the AP's slightly bigger bias toward quarterbacks.
We all wanted it, and Durga knows he deserves it, but an MVP isn't too likely for Mr. Watt. Normally we'd be ecstatic that a player we cheer for is receiving such high honors, but Watt is just so freakin' good that anything short of MVP just falls flat. They need to change the name back to Player of the Year, pronto.
Since, as the PFW article points out, the AP began using the term "MVP" in 1961, it seems the pre-1960 winners are no longer considered "MVPs" but "Players of the Year." Adding to the confusion, the 1962 winner, Jim Taylor (in the story that moved across the AP wire in 1962) was the "Player of the Year", not the "Most Valuable Player." In 1963 the term "MVP" was used once again. According to another article by Pro Football Weekly, the terms "Player of the Year" and "Most Valuable Player" were interchangeable at the time.
Your thoughts on this, BRB faithful?