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Steelers’ T.J. Watt, on pace for 34 sacks, wins AFC Defensive Player of the Month

OK, fine. It’s only been three games. Still, his pace is impressive!

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a win over the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt has been off to a blazing start in the 2023 season, and those efforts have been recognized. Watt was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for his efforts in September, the team announced Thursday.

Through three weeks, the stat sheet Watt has built for himself is, as the kids say, totally lit.

  • 6.0 sacks (1st)
  • 12 QB hits (1st)
  • 2 forced fumbles (tied-1st)
  • 2 fumble recoveries (t-2nd)
  • 1 fumble returned for a TD (t-1st)
  • 5 tackles for loss (t-2nd)

I’m just saying, that if we were to extrapolate that data over the course of a full 17-game season, T.J. Watt would have:

  • 34 sacks (NFL single-season record)
  • 68 QB hits* (NFL single-season record)
  • 11 forced fumbles (NFL single-season record)
  • 11 forced fumble recoveries* (NFL single-season record)
  • 5 defensive touchdowns (NFL single-season record)
  • 28 tackles for loss* (Tied for fourth-most in a single season in NFL history... only behind his brother, J.J. Watt, who’s had three seasons of 29+)

So yeah... Steelers fans are on pace for a pretty magical season. Just saying.

Despite this production, Watt still sits tied with Browns DE Myles Garrett for the second-best odds to win 2023-24 Defensive Player of the Year at +380 on DraftKings Sportsbook. The odds favorite is Cowboys Micah Parsons, who was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month.

September 2023 marks his fourth time winning the honor, having also won AFC Defensive Player of the Month in November of the 2019 season and in September and November of 2020.

*Not all stats have been tracked since the NFL was founded in 1920