With already his the 2nd Defensive Player of the Week award and 4th all-purpose TD of the season, J.J. Watt is having arguably the best season of his already incredible career.
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In 1986, Giants LB Lawrence Taylor recorded 20.5 sacks en route to a Giants Superbowl victory over the Denver Broncos. That was the last time a defensive player won the NFL MVP award. In 2012, Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt recorded 20.5 sacks as well and helped the Texans to their best record in franchise history, but was overshadowed by RB Adrian Peterson’s 2,097 yard season and settled for Defensive Player of the Year. So far this year, J.J. Watt has recorded 9.5 sacks (on pace for just under 16 on the season) but has recorded 4 all-purpose TDs: 2 receiving TDs on offense, an INT-TD and a fumble returned for a TD – he also has 7 pass deflections, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles, and over 40 tackles. And that’s after only 10 games.
It seems like almost a given that Watt will win DPOY again, but why should his accolades stop there? He is having arguably the best defensive season for any player since Lawrence Taylor but keeps getting overshadowed by great offensive players. That doesn’t seem fair considering that offensive records are getting broken almost annually while defensive records are becoming increasingly difficult to break.
If Watt keeps up his incredible pace it would be almost a crime not to name him NFL MVP.
Here are the top five candidates for NFL MVP heading into Week 12:
J.J. Watt – If Watt can’t win NFL MVP this year, the award really should just be abolished and replaced with some kind of “Biggest Offensive Numbers Player of the Year.”
Tom Brady – The outstanding play of the Patriots defense has hid the fact that Brady is having his best season since 2010 – when he won the NFL MVP. If the Patriots win the No. 1 overall seed this year it will be because of his offensive leadership.
Aaron Rodgers – Much like Tom Brady, the last time Aaron Rodgers was playing this well, he won the NFL MVP award. He leads the NFL in TD% and lowest INT% – that’s something that doesn’t happen for most QBs in any given year.
DeMarco Murray – Murray has said that he’s ready to lead the Cowboys. At the rate he’s going now he’ll be breaking franchise records held by some of the greatest RBs of all-time. If that isn’t worth an MVP award, what is?
Peyton Manning – The Manning For MVP No. 6 campaign lost a lot of juice with an unexpectedly poor performance from Manning against St. Louis Rams.