Steelers News

TJ Watt Named 101 Awards AFC Defensive Player Of The Year

T.J. Watt has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Year by 101 Awards, taking home the honor for the second straight season.

According to, Watt is now just the second Steeler to win the award twice, joining Joe Greene, who did so in 1972 and 1974.

It’s a no-brainer selection. Watt tied the NFL official sack record with 22.5 of them this season, matching Michael Strahan’s 20-year old mark. Watt also tied for the league lead with 21 tackles for loss in addition to 64 total tackles, seven pass deflections, and five forced fumbles,

He is considered a frontrunner for the marquee, AP Defensive Player of the Year Award voted on later this year. He and Rams DT Aaron Donald are considered the top two candidates. Both were the only defensive players to be unanimously selected to this year’s All-Pro team.

Just five years into his NFL career, Watt already has 72 sacks, one of the top figures in league history over that span. He’s on pace to set the Steelers’ franchise record by about midway through 2022, right around his 28th birthday. Truly, he is on a Hall of Fame track and could essentially lock up a trip to Canton over the next 2-3 years.

Watt is the first Steeler defender to win the award since Troy Polamalu in 2010. Others to win it include James Harrison (2008), Carnell Lake (1997), Greg Lloyd (1994), Rod Woodson (1993), Jack Lambert (1976), Mel Blount (1975), and Greene in 1972 and 1974. The last offensive player to win it was WR Antonio Brown in 2017.

The award will be presented to Watt in March.

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