With the Super Bowl just hours away it means the National Football League announces their annual awards. This is when it is decided who is considered the Most Valuable Player (MVP), Offensive Player of the Year, Rookies of the Year and, important to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Unfortunately for Watt, the 2020 award went to Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.
This would be the second year in a row where Watt finished second overall in voting, last year losing out to New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Defensive Player of the Year voting:— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 7, 2021
Aaron Donald: 27
TJ Watt: 20
Xavien Howard: 3
With awards like this, there are a lot of factors which come into play. Last season many thought the reason Watt didn’t win the award was the fact the Steelers failed to make the playoffs, while the Patriots did. This season, many are suggesting the fact the Steelers lost in disappointing fashion to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs, and Donald’s Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks to advance to the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs played a factor.
Either way, it is hard to ignore basic statistics. Here are the stats Watt produced this year...
Watt’s 2020 Stats:
QB Hits: 41
Forced Fumbles: 2
Pass Defenses: 8
This isn’t to suggest Donald wasn’t, or isn’t, deserving of the award, but you wonder what Watt will have to do to get his first defensive player award. Meanwhile, he will continue to look up at his older brother J.J. Watt, who has three Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.