4. T.J. Watt, Edge Defender
It's hard to go more than a game or two all season long without talking about the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year and three-time Steelers Team MVP. Despite recently turning 30 years old in November, T.J. Watt is having one of the most productive seasons of his NFL career.
Early and often, the Steelers star pulverized Bengals right tackle Jonah Williams, and to no surprise, Watt drew plenty of extra attention. Even with this, Watt was always around QB Jake Browning, and he earned an impressive strip sack in the first half while drawing a holding penalty on Williams.
By the end of the game, Watt was credited with 4 quarterback hits. If the Steelers' unspectacular linebacker group of Myles Jack, Mykal Walker, and Mark Robinson would have been able to cover for more than two seconds at a time, this might have been a 3 or 4-sack performance for Watt based on the way he looked in this contest.
The Steelers have been far from the best team in 2023, but T.J. Watt continues to make a strong case for the Defensive Player of the Year award after a strong Week 16 showing against the Bengals. He currently leads the NFL with 17.0 sacks, and he could become the first player in NFL history to lead the league in sacks in three separate seasons. This man continues to build on an already impressive Hall of Fame resume.