No Surprise...T.J. Voted Steelers MVP By Teammates

By Jason Hall

January 6, 2022

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers
Photo: Getty Images

T.J. Watt is currently favored to win his first 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, but has already received a major honor among his teammates for the third consecutive year.

Watt, who is currently one sack shy of the NFL single-season record, was once again been selected as the Pittsburgh Steelers Most Valuable Player, becoming the first player in franchise history to win the award three years in a row and the fifth to do so at least three times.

"It's all about tradition here and to be able to put your footprint in as part of the tradition here is special," Watt said via Steelers.com. "I know it's an individual goal. I'm not big on individual achievements. But doing this with such a wonderful group of guys is what it's all about. To be able to be a part of this franchise hopefully for a long time, this is very special. But I really do have more work to do."

Watt was been named as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for the third time during the 2021 NFL season this week after a four-sack performance in the Steelers' 26-14 win against the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football in Week 17.

Watt's four sacks tied Joey Porter's single-game franchise record set against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001 and puts him one sack behind Michael Strahan's NFL single-season sack record of 22.5, joining Strahan and 11 others, including his brother, J.J. Watt, in the NFL's 20-sack season club.

Watt has now been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week six times during his five-year NFL career.

Last month, the 27-year-old joined recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Troy Polamalu as the only Steelers players to receive the honor five times.

At the time, Watt had surpassed James Harrison's franchise single-season sack record of 16 after recording 3.5 sacks, six tackles and one tackle for loss during Pittsburgh's December 5 victory against the Baltimore Ravens.

Watt has since added 1.5 sacks during the Steelers' December 19 win against the Tennessee Titans and the four additional sacks on Monday night.

The Steelers (8-7-1) must defeat the rival Baltimore Ravens (8-8) on Sunday and need the Indianapolis Colts (9-7) to lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14), as well as the Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) and Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) matchup to not end in a tie in order to clinch a postseason berth.

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