Why T.J. Watt should win DPOY despite not playing in final game

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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AFC linebacker T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Watt should have won it last year

I know this by itself is never a good enough reason to hand someone an award as big as Defensive Player of the Year. However, many believed that T.J. Watt was the rightful DPOY award winner in 2019, not Stephon Gilmore. While the Patriots defensive back had an impressive season that included 6 interceptions and 20 pass defenses, Watt was near the top of the league in sacks, quarterback hits, and pressures while chipping in 2 interceptions and a league-leading 8 forced fumbles.

Despite the Steelers playing with backup quarterbacks nearly all of the 2019 season Pittsburgh still found a way to be a competitive team – thanks in large part from the utter dominance of Watt last year. His spectacular play assured that the Steelers would not have a losing season despite possessing one of the worst offenses in football.

Stephon Gilmore earned DPOY honors for being a great defender on one of the league’s best defenses. If the Associated Press voters are being consistent, it should be Watt’s turn to earn the award this time around.

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At the end of the day, T.J. Watt and Aaron Donald are two of the best players in the entire NFL – regardless of position – and it would be hard to argue against either one earning DPOY honors this year. However, with Watt leading the NFL in four major categories, Donald taking a step back in production, and the Steelers star getting robbed of contention last year, T.J. Watt should win DPOY in 2020, even without playing in the final game of the season.