clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The T.J. Watt vs. Myles Garrett debate is a silly one for lots of reasons

The constant online debates about T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett are silly.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the silly debates, the one that involves T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett may be the silliest (and think about how much ground that covers when talking about silly debates).

This debate often takes place between Steelers and Browns fans on social media. It’s ongoing, it’s unrelenting, and it’s just plain unnecessary.


Read on for a list of reasons:

Garrett is considered to be the better edge rusher right now, but this ranking is mostly based on last year

Did you know that Garrett is rated as the top edge rusher in the NFL according to sites like Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Network and

It’s true. Oh, it’s damn true.

It’s also damn true that Watt isn’t even considered to be the second-best edge rusher according to those aforementioned sites. Why? Because these rankings are based on 2022, a season in which Watt accrued only 5.5 sacks thanks to a pectoral injury that forced him to miss seven games and otherwise compromised his physical abilities all season. Garrett, on the other hand, recorded 16 sacks in 2022.

Obviously, Garrett is going to be ranked ahead of Watt based on last season’s production. For that matter, so is Watt’s teammate and fellow outside linebacker, Alex Highsmith, who recorded 14.5 sacks a season ago.

These sites are just going for the clicks in a lot of cases

It’s usually an oversimplification when readers say things like, “They’re going for the clicks,” but it’s certainly true for bigger sites like PFF and I’m not sure how much traffic articles ranking the top edge rushers actually generate for the big boys on the block, but I’m guessing it’s a lot. Fans love lists. They love rankings. They love debating rankings. Your average fan treats a list like a teenager treats selfies—they look at multiple lists until they find one they like. If they find multiple lists they enjoy, great! If they only find one, they pick it and delete the others. If they don’t find any they like, they put their phone away and act like they didn’t care about the lists in the first place. No matter how you slice it, however, the average NFL fan will remember these lists.

When it comes to Steelers fans, well, sites like PFF must know they’re some of the most engaging and loyal around. They never stop talking about things involving their favorite football team. This is especially the case when they think one of their own is being disrespected. One way to generate engagement is to put out a list that has that no-good Myles Garrett ranked ahead of T.J. Watt. Yes, as already stated, this is mostly based on last year, but that doesn’t mean Steelers fans won’t go nuts. After all, what about the whole body of work?

Watt has 77.5 career sacks since being selected 30th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Garrett has 74.5 career sacks since being selected first overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

OK, but Garrett has 44 sacks over the past three seasons, while Watt has 43. Yes, but Watt has been hurt a lot over the past two years, especially 2022. Even with Watt’s injury problems, however, he still has more sacks than anyone over the past four seasons with 57.5. Meanwhile, Garrett has the most sacks in the league since 2020. You might say Garrett only holds that title because of Watt’s injury problems, but stats are real, and so are injuries. You can’t erase Garrett’s productivity over the past three years just because of Watt’s health issues.

Browns fans are just trolling Steelers fans

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Browns fans love to troll Steelers fans. Why? Because it works. What better way than to constantly tweet stuff about Garrett being ranked higher than Watt when it comes to the NFL’s best edge rushers?

These Browns fans are just trying to get a rise out of you, that’s all, for shoots and giggles.

Garrett and Watt aren’t the only great edge rushers in the NFL

Who do these Browns and Steelers fans think they are, anyway? Their favorite edge rushers aren’t the center of the universe. What about Micah Parsons? What about Von Miller? What about Nick Bosa, the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year? There are plenty of great pass rushers in the NFL, and you’d probably be happy with any of them if you didn’t have Garrett or Watt.

Who cares?

Finally, who cares where Watt is ranked compared to Garrett or any other edge rusher in the NFL? The important thing is that the Steelers have a player like Watt. He’s the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He’s been capable of winning that award since about 2018. If he stays healthy in 2023, he’ll likely wreak the same amount of havoc as he did in 2021, 2020, 2019, etc. Will that be good enough to win DPOY again? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s nice to have someone like that, regardless of where you rate him. I said the same thing about Ben Roethlisberger and his often disrespectful rankings during his 18-year career. It didn’t really matter where you ranked Roethlisberger among the NFL’s franchise quarterbacks, just as long as he was good enough to be in the discussion.

Besides, you’re too old to be worried about edge rusher rankings, especially if you’re 57, 47 or 37. It’s really sad if you’re 27. I mean, get out there and take advantage of life while you still can. Heck, it’s even pushing it if you’re 17. OK, maybe you’re still trying to figure out life as a teenager, but you’re not going to do that by engaging in online debates involving T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett.

If you’re seven, that’s okay...provided your homework is done.

There you have it, the plethora of reasons why it's silly to engage in debates involving T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett. They're both good. They're both capable of being number one.

At the end of the day, just be glad your favorite team employees one of them.