Pittsburgh Steelers’ star pass rusher T.J. Watt already made history in 2021 claiming his third straight Steelers’ Team MVP Award. Can he extend his record streak to a fourth year in 2022?
CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani certainly believes so, predicting that Watt will be the Steelers’ Team MVP for a fourth year in a row in a recent piece predicting each team’s MVP for CBSSports.com. Watt was the easy choice for Dajani.
Last season, in the midst of tying the NFL’s single-season sacks records with 22.5 and breaking the Steelers’ single-season record of 16.0 set by James Harrison in 2008, Watt became the only player in team history to win the award three straight years, and the fifth player in team history to win it three or more times.
Now, he’s going for a fourth.
“We aren’t sure how the Steelers’ offense will look in 2022, but expect the defense to be improved. Pittsburgh made key additions at all three levels on defense this offseason. While Stephon Tuitt retired, the Steelers added Larry Ogunjobi to replace him. Pittsburgh also added Myles Jack at inside linebacker and then Levi Wallace at cornerback,” Dajani writes, explaining his selection of Watt for the team’s MVP award. “A more solid defense will allow their stars to shine, and their best player is Watt. The younger brother of J.J. Watt tied Michael Strahan’s 20-year-old record for most sacks in a single season with 22.5 last year, and made virtually every quarterback’s life tougher. He’s a big reason why the Steelers could be in 2022.”
Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter who is around Watt on the roster. Last season, with the Steelers dealing with a number of injuries defensively, Watt continued to produce at a high level. Of course, having Cam Heyward healthy and in the lineup opposite him matters a great deal, but Watt was able to produce even when the likes of Taco Charlton and Derrek Tuszka were lined up opposite him at outside linebacker, and Chris Wormley and Isaiahh Loudermilk next to him in the trenches.
Of course, it will certainly help having the likes of Ogunjobi and Myles Jack in the front seven, along with an added year of experience under the belt of Alex Highsmith, who is certainly coming into his own as a pass rusher.
Aside from the likes of Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Najee Harris at this point with the Steelers, Watt is a relatively safe bet to win the Steelers’ Team MVP award for a record fourth season in a row. Will that actually happen? Play on the field will determine that. Based on Watt’s last three years, there’s a great chance his play is otherworldly again, leading to another Team MVP award.