The last defensive player to be named NFL MVP was Lawrence Taylor. JJ Watt has a serious chance to become the first defensive player since 1986 to become the NFL MVP.
Now before you close the article and move on, hear me out. JJ Watt has been unstoppable. He has recorded 11.5 sacks, forced 5 fumbles, recovered 3 fumbles, blocked a kick, has a pick-six, returned a fumble for a touchdown, and has also caught 3 touchdowns, one of which was a fade that not many professional tight ends would have caught. He also has 8 passes defended, the most out of any defensive lineman. The stats speak for themselves. Watt does everything. However, stats should not determine who should win the MVP award. MVP stands for most valuable player, not best player.
Demarco Murray has put up incredible numbers and so has Aaron Rodgers, but they have not done so in multiple categories. For Example, Demarco Murray is leading the league in rushing, but he has also fumbled 5 times, which leads all running backs. Also Murray, has caught 0 touchdowns and when Tony Romo is out of the game, Murray has struggled, only getting 79 yards on 19 carries in the defeat.
Aaron Rodgers has been nothing short of spectacular, and it is hard to make a case against him. Rodgers has been lighting up defenses all year, with 32 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions, leading to a passer rating of 118.6. However, Rodgers has two blemishes in his resume. He is dominate at home, but on the road he is only 3-3. He could not get the ball moving against Detroit, Seattle, or New Orleans, and it was evident in their loses. Rodgers continues to put up big numbers, but in blowouts. Rodgers has not been good when his team is behind. He helped finish off New England on Sunday, but in the second half, he struggled as New England found their way back into that game. Rodgers has only thrown 10 touchdowns in the second half, and has thrown just 7 touchdowns when his team was trailing.
Watt on the other hand excels in close games. Although JJ Watt has 7 of his 11.5 sacks while ahead, his interception and two fumble recoveries have come when the Texans were trailing or ahead by less than 7. 4 of his 5 touchdowns came when the Texans either trailed or were winning by less than 7. JJ Watt dominates the game when his team is winning and wills his team back into the game when they are losing. Lets take a look at some of his best games.
Week 1: Vs Washington
Watt starts of the season by stuffing Alfred Morris on a 3rd and 1 in the first possession of the game. Watt blocks an extra point with his team down 6-0 in the second quarter. Watt recovers a fumble in the red zone with Washington about to score with his team up 7-6 in the third quarter. Watt then sacks RGIII, and blocks a pass in the fourth quarter as the team goes on to win 17-6.
Week 4: Vs. Buffalo
With his team trailing 10-7 in the third quarter, Watt picks off EJ Manuel and returns it 80 yards for a touchdown giving his team a 14-10 lead. JJ Watt hit the quarterback 6 times in this game, and although he did not record a sack, his hit in the fourth quarter changed the trajectory of the ball and helped Darryl Morris intercept Manuel and the Texans win the game.
Week 6: Vs. Indianapolis
JJ Watt did everything he could in the first half against the Colts. He recorded one sack, defended two passes, and had 4 tackles, two for losses. However, his team still trailed 27 -14 at the half. What he did in the second half was just as impressive. He recorded another sack, defended another pass, had 3 more tackles, and returned a fumble for a touchdown that he kicked to himself. Although the Texans still lost the game 33-28, Watt did everything he could to help his team win. Without Watt, the Texans could have lost this game by 40.
Week 11: Vs. Cleveland
In a must win game, JJ Watt delivered. He caught a touchdown pass from Ryan Mallett; a goal line fade pass that very few players could have caught. Watt then managed to slip up, when he had two roughing the punter penalties leading to the Browns tying the game. Instead of Watt letting these mistakes get to his head, he responded with a dominate performance. He recorded one sack, forced a fumble, and recovered a fumble. He also recorded 3 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and had 3 QB hits on Brian Hoyer.
With the NFL in turmoil, The league needs a player like JJ Watt to be the front page man. JJ Watt is a role-model to everyone in the city of Houston. From being a friend to recently orphaned children, to staying late after training camp to sign autographs for the fans that pack in to see him play. Watt sends letters and pizza to local police officers and firemen. Not because he is told to, but because he wants them to know that they are the true heroes. The league needs JJ Watt and they should reward him by giving him the MVP award that he deserves.
JJ Watt has brought a 2-14 team into the playoff race at 6-6. He has re energized a city that once again has football fever. In the last home game of year last season, JJ Watt vowed on the big screen, that he would not let this city go through a season like this again. The sparse crowd cheered sarcastically, with the belief that we were in for more turbulent seasons. Now, when JJ Watt is shown on the screen, Normally after a big play, Turn Down for What blares, as the packed crowd erupts. This team would be no where without JJ Watt. JJ Watt is not only the best player in the NFL, he is the most valuable player in the league.