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J.J. Watt Named Sporting News Defensive Player Of The Year

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J.J. Watt picks up his latest award with Drake's "Back to Back" playing in the background.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

For the second year in a row, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has been named Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year.

Watt had another stellar season, as the Sporting News notes:

Watt was still the most dominant defensive player in the NFL, and the players, coaches and executives acknowledged it by voting him the Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight season.

Watt finished in first place, just ahead of Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (113) with 116 votes. For the 2015 season, Watt had 57 solo tackles, 19 tackle assists, 17.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and eight passes defended.

The Texans' defensive end battled through a broken hand that likely played some part in preventing him from reaching 20 sacks as he did in 2014 and 2012 . Watt showed what he can do when healthy in Week 17 as he recorded three sacks against the Jacksonville Jaguars -- the first game without the cast on his hand since he broke it on December 9th. That win over the Jaguars clinched a playoff spot and division title for the Texans.

Watt was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in November and was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl in 2015.

Now the focus turns to whether Watt will win his third AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.  That will be announced on NFL Honors, which will air the night before the Super Bowl at 8 p.m. CST.