If you took a poll of most football fans -- even outside of the Pittsburgh Steelers community -- they would probably admit that T.J. Watt is routinely one of the best defenders in the National Football League. Watt seems to show up on film each week and his presence on the field is easy to note.
This year, the Steelers star is tied for the league lead with 17.0 sacks. However, Watt is a distant third when it comes to Defensive Player of the Year odds, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook. With just one week of football remaining in the regular season, the sad reality is that Watt can't do enough at this point to take home the 2023 DPOY award. Here are three reasons why.
1. Steelers didn't have a top-notch defense in 2023
Whether you think this should be a team award or not, Associated Press voters typically prove this is the case -- it's why CB Stephon Gilmore won this award in 2020 (when many Steelers fans thought Watt was snubbed of this honor).
Once again, the award is likely to go to a player who is on a much better defense. The Browns currently rank at the top of the league in nearly every defensive category, so it's not hard to see why their best player, Myles Garrett, is the odds-on favorite for this prestigious honor.
Just behind him is Micah Parsons, and the Dallas Cowboys also possess a much better team defense than the Steelers. I'm not saying that this is the right way to go about it, but the Steelers' average total defense (which ranks 22nd in yards allowed entering the season finale) is working against T.J. Watt's chances of becoming the DPOY for the 2023 season.