Aaron Donald was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year tonight, the third time he’s won that award. JJ Watt—another three-time winner of the award—is not thrilled that his younger brother, Pittsburgh Steelers star TJ Watt, was snubbed.
“Aaron Donald is an absolutely incredible player. I love watching him play and he’s headed to the Hall of Fame without question,” the elder Watt tweeted after the award for the Los Angeles Rams standout was announced. “This has nothing to do with AD personally.
“This is me saying what my brother won’t. TJ played one less game and STILL led the NFL in every major category.”
Watt broke out his best Microsoft Excel skills to lay out the argument. TJ Watt had 15 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, 55 pressures, 41 quarterback hits, seven passes defensed, and an interception, all more than Donald this year. Forced fumbles (four vs. two) was the only category in which Donald had better raw numbers.
Aaron Donald is an absolutely incredible player. I love watching him play & he’s headed to the Hall of Fame without question. This has nothing to do with AD personally.
This is me saying what my brother won’t.
TJ played 1 less game and STILL led the NFL in every major category. pic.twitter.com/m1vzrD88WU
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 7, 2021
Of course, it isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison. The two play different positions. Edge rushers like Watt have a much easier time putting up gaudy numbers like this than interior linemen like Donald.
13.5 sacks and those other pressure numbers from a defensive tackle are crazy, and are a huge reason why the Rams defense was so fierce this year. An interior pass rush allows a defense to blitz less, to play more sound pass defense, and frees them up for all kinds of options. You can certainly argue for TJ Watt though. He had a spectacular season.
JJ Watt was wrong about one thing… his brother did speak up for himself a bit.
— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) February 7, 2021
That’s just great meme usage. If we know anything about the Watt brothers, it is that TJ will use this as motivation heading into the 2021 season, as he and the Steelers look to make up for their bad late-year skid in 2020.
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