Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt Named AP Defensive Player of the Year

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TEXANS DE J.J. WATT NAMED ASSOCIATED PRESS
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Watt becomes first Texan to win League-wide player of the year honor

HOUSTON – Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year at the second-annual NFL Honors gala this evening in New Orleans, La.

Watt is the first Houston Texans player to earn a League-wide player of the year award and is the first defensive lineman to be recognized since Miami DE Jason Taylor won it in 2006. He is the 17th defensive lineman to be named AP Defensive Player of the Year and the eighth defensive end.

The AP has presented the Defensive Player of the Year every year since 1971, when Minnesota DT Alan Page won the award. The award is determined by a 50-member panel of national pro football writers, with one vote cast per voter.

Watt (6-5, 295) led the NFL with 20.5 sacks, which tied for the sixth-most in a season in NFL history, and his 16 passes defensed were the most in League history by a defensive lineman. He became the only player in NFL history with at least 15 sacks and 15 passes defensed in the same season.

Watt led the Texans defense with 107 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 42 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles; and he tied for second on the team with two fumble recoveries. According to a review of the official play-by-plays from each game this season, Watt contributed to 95 plays that either resulted in no gain or negative yardage, including tackles for loss and tackles for no gain, passes defensed, quarterback hits on passes that fell incomplete, sacks, forced fumbles that resulted in turnovers and fumble recoveries.

“He should be unanimous, I would think. He’s just a great player and he’s had the best year ever,” said Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips on January 10, when asked about Watt’s play this season. “He’s had the absolute best year any defensive lineman has ever had. And I had Elvin Bethea, who’s in the Hall of Fame, and he had some great years, and Bruce Smith had some great years, and Reggie White had some great years, but they didn’t make that many tackles, that many tackles for loss, that many knock downs and that many sacks in one year. Nobody has done that, so I can’t say enough great things about him because he’s a great player.”

Watt was one of two unanimous selections to the AP All-Pro team, along with Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson, and was voted into his first Pro Bowl as a starter on the AFC team. He was also named the Pro Football Weekly/PFWA Defensive Most Valuable Player this season and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year by Kansas City-based group NFL 101.

He earned AFC Defensive Player of the Month honors for September and December, to become the only player in franchise history to win the award twice in one season. Watt was also voted as the Texans’ Most Valuable Player by his teammates and was named to USA Football’s All-Fundamentals Team for his ability to maneuver into passing lanes and bat down passes.

J.J. Watt’s Honors This Season

Award

Organization
Defensive Player of the Year

Associated Press
Defensive Most Valuable Player

Pro Football Weekly/PFWA
AFC Defensive Player of the Year

NFL 101
Unanimous First-Team All-Pro

Associated Press
Pro Bowl Starter

National Football League
All-Fundamentals Team

USA Football
AFC Defensive Player of the Month (December)

National Football League
AFC Defensive Player of the Month (September)

National Football League
Most Valuable Player

Houston Texans

Defensive Linemen Named AP Defensive Player of the Year

Year

Player

Pos.

Team
2012

J.J. Watt

DE

Houston Texans
2006

Jason Taylor

DE

Miami Dolphins
2001

Michael Strahan

DE

New York Giants
1999

Warren Sapp

DT

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1998

Reggie White

DE

Green Bay Packers
1997

Dana Stubblefield

DT

San Francisco 49ers
1996

Bruce Smith

DE

Buffalo Bills
1992

Cortez Kennedy

DT

Seattle Seahawks
1990

Bruce Smith

DE

Buffalo Bills
1989

Keith Millard

DT

Minnesota Vikings
1987

Reggie White

DT

Philadelphia Eagles
1983

Doug Betters

DE

Miami Dolphins
1979

Lee Roy Selmon

DE

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1977

Harvey Martin

DE

Dallas Cowboys
1974

Joe Greene

DT

Pittsburgh Steelers
1972

Joe Greene

DT

Pittsburgh Steelers
1971

Alan Page

DT

Minnesota Vikings




 
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