“Watt tied the single-season sack record with 22.5 in 15 games in 2021. What if he blasts past that benchmark to steer the league in sacks for a 3rd straight season? No player has ever paced the NFL in sacks in back-to-back-to-back campaigns,” Patra writes for NFL.com regarding his number of Watt for the Steelers’ non-QB MVP candidate. “Watt averaged 1.5 sacks per game in 2021, second all-time only to Hall of Famer Reggie White’s 1.75 mark set in 1987 (min. five games). If Watt breaks the record while dragging the Steelers to the postseason again, he’d be a shoo-in for back-to-back Defensive Player of the Yr awards. But he’d deserve more, like becoming the primary defensive MVP since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.”
What Watt has done since coming into the league in 2017 is nothing in need of remarkable. He’s put up some impressive numbers and is on a historic trajectory at this point in his profession, one that may almost actually land him within the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his playing days come to a conclusion.
Replicating what he did in 2021 will likely be reasonably hard overall, but let’s hypothetically say Watt does that, and really sets the NFL’s single-season sacks record, reasonably than tying it. With good health and a few luck, he could actually try this, considering his 22.5 sacks last season got here in only 15 games, missing parts of 1 game, and two others entirely.
T.J. Watt ties Michael Strahan for essentially the most sacks in a season‼️
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2022
Say he plays 17 games and averages that 1.5 sacks per game. That may give him 25.5 sacks in 2022, shattering Michael Strahan’s previous record of twenty-two.5, which might make Watt a shoo-in to win his second straight Defensive Player of the Yr award, and would likely put the Steelers within the playoffs once more.
If he does that, he could find himself within the NFL MVP conversation with a sensible shot at winning the award as Patra states.
Elsewhere within the AFC North, Patra highlighted tight end Mark Andrews because the Ravens’ non-QB MVP candidate, in addition to Bengals’ wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and Browns’ running back Nick Chubb.