TJ Watt 2021 DPOY Review

March 18, 2022
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TJ Watt has exploded into NFL popularity. He once was one of the Steeler’s premier defenders, but now had the best defensive season in all of the NFL. Following his big brother JJ’s footsteps, TJ is chartering a new path. TJ Watt asserted himself as the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. In the voting polls, Watt won 42 of the 50 votes, garnering 84% of the total.

Last year, Watt was ousted by Aaron Donald in the 2020 DPOY. Donald had 27 votes while Watt had 20. Watt had more sacks, tackles, and interceptions than Donald. Watt came into 2021 with a new contract and was ready to boost his already outstanding defensive performance.

TJ Watt Season Recap

In the first game at Buffalo, TJ Watt recorded two sacks and led the defensive line that swarmed Josh Allen. He got another sack against the Raiders in the next game, but he was injured and left the game early. Watt had to sit out the Bengals game, but he came back for the Packers and sacked Aaron Rodgers twice. About a month later, the Bears came into town and Watt had three sacks on Justin Fields.

Against the rival Ravens at the beginning of December, Watt showed up with a big performance. He had 3.5 sacks and 3 other tackles for loss. The Steelers got the victory over the Ravens in a defensive grind.

Facing the AFC’s top-seeded Titans at home, Watt had 1.5 sacks. One of his biggest plays was his fumble recovery from Ryan Tannehill late in the 4th quarter. The Steelers had a 16-13 lead, but the Titans were driving down the field. Watt got the fumble to set up the victory. The Steelers as a whole finished with three fumble recoveries that game.

In the home finale against the Browns, Watt had an astounding 4 sacks on Baker Mayfield. Watt recorded a sack in each of the four quarters that game in a defensive effort to keep the Steelers playoff hopes alive. Watt’s performance in that game was overshadowed by being Big Ben’s last game at Heinz Field.

Historical Season

TJ Watt totaled 22.5 sacks on the year which was the most during the 2021 season. He also tied the all-time single-season sack record with Michal Strahan in 2001. Watt also competed in one less game than Strahan did in 2001 because of the two injuries. Watt had the 2nd most single-season sacks per game. He was behind Reggie White’s 21 sacks in 12 games played in 1987.

TJ Watt’s Sack Counter:
at Bills, Week One: 2.0 (2.0)
vs Raiders, Week Two: 1.0 (3.0)
vs Bengals, Week Three: DNP
at Packers, Week Four: 2.0 (5.0)
vs Broncos, Week Five: 0 (5.0)
vs Seahawks, Week Six: 2.0 (7.0)
at Browns, Week Eight: 1.5 (8.5)
vs Bears, Week Nine: 3.0 (11.5)
vs Lions, Week Ten: 1.0 (12.5)
at Chargers, Week 11: DNP
at Bengals, Week 12: 0.0 (12.5)
vs Ravens, Week 13: 3.5 (16.0)
at Vikings, Week 14: 0.0 (16.0)
vs Titans, Week 15: 1.5 (17.5)
at Chiefs, Week 16: 0.0 (17.5)
vs Browns, Week 17: 4.0 (21.5)
at Ravens, Week 18: 1.0 (22.5)