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Fans Vote T.J. Watt FOX NFL Defensive Player of the Year



Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt

Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt was named 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year by NFL on FOX, which was voted on by fans. The official Associated Press DPOY award will be announced at the NFL Honors ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 8 at the Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas. The event will be broadcast live at 9 p.m on CBS, the NFL Network, and Paramount+.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was crowned the 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America on Jan. 24. The Pro Football Writers of America’s DPOY winner recently has been the same as the Associated Press’. Six out of the last seven years, both organizations selected the same player.

Watt put up better numbers in almost every major statistical category than Garrett in 2023. The Browns star pass rusher edged Watt out in Pro Football Focus’ overall grading and pass rush win rate metric, however. Some voters like Peter King hold that in high regard, hence why he voted for him.

Watt had 68 tackles, compared to Garrett’s 42. Watt had 19 tackles for loss compared to Garrett’s 17. Watt had 36 quarterback hits compare to 30 for Garrett. Each had four forced fumbles, but Watt had three recoveries compared to Garrett’s one. Watt also returned one of those fumbles for the only defensive touchdown of the season between the two players, which happened to be the game-sealing play in the Week 2 game between the Steelers and Browns at Acrisure Stadium.

The Steelers’ defensive captain had 19 sacks this season and set a modern NFL record as the first player to lead the league in sacks for a third time since it became an official statistic back in 1982. Deacon Jones of the Los Angeles Rams unofficially led the league in sacks five times in the 1960s.

Watt also led the NFL in sacks in 2020 and 2021, when he tied the all-time single-season sack records, drawing even with Michael Strahan’s mark of 22.5. That was the last time Watt won DPOY. He’ll join Hall of Famer Joe Greene as the only Steelers players to win DPOY twice if he wins on Thursday night.