After a monster performance Monday night, T.J. Watt has been named Week 17’s AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Game-wrecker 😤@_TJWatt is Week 17’s AFC Defensive Player of the Week!
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 5, 2022
Watt racked up five tackles, five QB hits, four sacks, three tackles for loss, and two pass deflections. It was the first four-sack game of his career and the first by a Steeler since Joey Porter had four in 2001. Our charting had him down for five total pressures, too.
It was another dominant performance that’s become the norm for Watt as he continues to step up in the game’s biggest moments.
Watt is now up to 21.5 sacks on the season, one shy of tying and 1.5 shy of breaking Michael Strahan’s official record. Watt is considered a frontrunner for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. He’s done it all despite missing two full games this season and leaving early in others.
This marks the third time this season Watt has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. He took home the honors in Week 6 and Week 13.
His 71 career sacks rank fourth all-time for a player’s first five seasons trailing only Reggie White, J.J. Watt, and (unofficially) Al Baker. Baker, by the way, holds the unofficial single-season sack record with 23.
Most sacks through a player's first five years, NFL history.
1. Reggie White – 81
2. JJ Watt – 74.5
3. Al Baker – 74
4. TJ Watt – 71
5. Deacon Jones – 68.5
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) January 4, 2022