Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Saturday, becoming the first Texans player to win any NFL player of the year honors in the team’s 11-year history. The second-year defensive end from Wisconsin led the NFL with 20.5 sacks and set an NFL record for a defensive lineman with 16 passes defensed in 2012.
Watt’s season was covered in-depth in the press release linked to above. Here are a few more notes about his accomplishment:
- At 23 years old, Watt is the second-youngest player ever to win the award. Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor was 22 when he won it with the New York Giants in 1981.
- Watt is the first player to win the award in his second season in the NFL. Taylor is the only one who did it sooner, winning as a rookie in 1981. Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert won the award after his third season in 1976.
- Of the 34 players who won the award before Watt, 13 are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ten of the other 21 previous winners are not yet eligible for induction (players must be retired for at least four years before being eligible for the Hall).
- Watt is the eighth active player with an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, joining Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Brian Urlacher, James Harrison, Charles Woodson, Troy Polamalu and Terrell Suggs. Lewis has announced that he will retire after tomorrow’s Super Bowl, so Watt will likely be one of seven active Defensive Player of the Year winners in NFL next season.
Tags: J.J. Watt, Postseason awards
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 3 Comments »