Profootballfocus recently named their 101 Best Players. To the surprise of nobody in this universe, J.J. Watt was numero uno on that list. Hate him all you want, but numbers don’t lie. Watt just won his 3rd DPOY award in his first five seasons. I would argue that he is already a Hall of Famer, and he should’ve been league MVP in 2014 (78 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 4 fumbles forced, 1 int., 10 passes defensed, 29 tackles for loss, 4 touchdowns). Anyhow, Watt continues to be great, and he continues to shatter NFL records as he paves his way to Canton.
Say all you want about the off the field stuff, Watt still delivers on the field. As far as I’m concerned, he can post as many pictures as he wants. I couldn’t care less. He is a once in a generation talent, who we should all be grateful to watch. Just yesterday Watt made it onto another list.
NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling posted an article ranking the NFL’s best non-qb’s. Again, Watt was at the top. What he has done in 5 years is simply astounding.
4× Pro Bowl (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
4× First-team All-Pro (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
3× AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015)
3× PFWA Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015)
3× SN NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015)
3× PFF Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2013, 2014)
3× PFF Best Player of the Year (2012, 2013, 2014)
2× AFC Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014)
2× NFL sacks leader (2012, 2015)
2014 MVP Runner-up
Bert Bell Award (2014)
Pro Bowl Defensive MVP (2014)
Ranked #5 in the Top 100 Players of 2013
Ranked #12 in the Top 100 Players of 2014
Ranked #1 in the Top 100 Players of 2015
First Defensive Player to be ranked #1 in the Top 100 Players (2015)
First Defensive Player with multiple 20+ sack seasons (2012, 2014)
4× PFWA All-NFL Team (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
5× AFC Defensive Player of the Month (Sep. 2012, Dec. 2012, Sep. 2014, Dec. 2014, Nov. 2015)
That’s just 5 years folks. Forget the Orangutan, Watt is single-handedly making America Great Again. There are comparisons to Lawrence Taylor as to who’s the greatest defensive player of all time. Well, let me submit this to you. Taylor finished his career with 132.5 sacks, 9 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, and 11 fumble recoveries. That is a 13 year career. He was a rookie of the year, a 3 time DPOY, and a league MVP in 1986.
After five years, Watt has 74.5 sacks, 2 ints., 5 tds, 15 forced fumbles, 12 fumbles recovered, and 79 tackles for loss. You can project that out.
Taylor was an outstanding, destructive beast in his time. His legacy however, is tarnished by drug suspensions and an accused rape of a 16-year old girl. And more recently, Taylor’s wife was arrested for allegedly assaulting Taylor in their Florida home. I understand that this doesn’t have anything to do with his play on the field, but there’s a pattern of behavior that is highly controversial.
I guess my point is that J.J. Watt is well on his way to destroying all of the records in front of him. The refreshing thing about him is that he’s doing it the right way. He works extremely hard. He doesn’t make excuses, and he doesn’t take plays off. He has no history of drug use, assault, etc. Watt is an NFL player that should be celebrated, not vilified. Just enjoy the greatness you are witnessing.
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Header image based on “JJ Watt Graphic” by Shea Huening (CC BY-ND 2.0)