Brothers J.J. and Derek Watt lobby for Steelers T.J. Watt to run away with DPOY award

J.J. and Derek Watt make the case for little brother T.J. to be the DPOY for the 2023 season.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have a historic player in the making, and his name is T.J. Watt. Entering Pittsburgh's Week 18 season finale against the Baltimore Ravens, Watt was third in the NFL in Defensive Player of the Year odds. Despite not being able to finish out the night, he catapulted his DPOY odds with a remarkable performance.

Watt was all over the field at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore for the final regular season game of the year. Through less than three quarters, the Steelers star recorded 8 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, and 2 quarterback hits, according to ESPN stats. Unfortunately, Watt exited the contest late in the third quarter after going to the ground with what looked to be a scary knee injury.

Ian Rapoport later reported that, based on initial tests, Watt suffered a Grade 3 MCL sprain. This is far better than a torn ACL, but this is typically an injury that forces players to miss multiple weeks. Had Watt been able to play the remainder of the game, they could have really ended the season on a high note -- possibly earning a third sack and giving him a 20-sack season.

Instead, Watt officially finishes the regular season with 19.0 sacks. He becomes just the fourth player in NFL history to earn at least 19 sacks in two separate seasons. Ironically, one of the three other players to do so is his big brother, J.J. Watt. The former three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner is lobbying hard for his little brother to earn a DPOY trophy for the second time in his career.

J.J. isn't the only family member looking out for his little brother. Former Steelers fullback, Derek Watt is also advocating for T.J. to receive the 2023 Defensive Player of the Year award.

It's not surprising to see a pair of brothers campaign for their sibling, and to say that J.J. and Derek are biased is a drastic understatement. However, they can certainly make a strong case as to why T.J. Watt should earn the Defensive Player of the Year award for his efforts during the 2023 season.

Should T.J. Watt be the 2023 DPOY?

When you look at advanced metrics, T.J. Watt isn't going to be leading any categories. He doesn't possess the same pass-rush win rate as some of the league's best edge defenders, and he can't create pressure at the same rate as players like Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett. But what he lacks in quick pressure ability, he makes up for with tremendous splash and unmatched production.

Regardless of the time it takes him to get to the quarterback, Watt always seems to be making plays in the backfield. His 19.0 sacks during the 2023 season will likely end up leading the league this year. This means that Watt will become the first player in the history of the NFL to lead the league in sacks in three separate seasons -- a feat that his big brother J.J. didn't even accomplish.

Watt is also routinely one of the best players on the field game in and game out. His presence is unmatched, and it's part of the reason that the Pittsburgh Steelers always seem to end up with a respectable team despite numerous talent holes on their roster.

In addition to earning 19.0 sacks (and a plethora of other splash plays this year), Watt became the first player in Pittsburgh Steelers history to earn four Team MVP awards.

Following Watt's dominant Week 18 performance against the Ravens, Myles Garrett still leads all players in DPOY odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, but Watt just leapfrogged Cowboys EDGE Micah Parsons and is fresh on Garrett's tail. There's a case to be made for any of these three players winning the Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2023 season, but nobody should be upset if T.J. Watt takes home his second DPOY trophy.

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