When asked to name the best player on the Steelers, the answer will almost always be T.J. Watt.
When it comes to offseason predictions the top players can be scrutinized and it often lends itself to hot takes and hyperbole, but sometimes it is simplest and refreshing to just state the obvious.
That is exactly what CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani did in predicting each AFC team’s MVP for this upcoming season, as he believes outside linebacker T.J. Watt will be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ most impactful player in 2022.
With question marks on the offensive side and key additions on the defense, Dajani thinks Watt is primed to rise to the occasion and shine even brighter this year.
Not only did T.J. Watt take home his first Defensive Player of the Year award in 2021, but he also tied the record for the most sacks in a single season (22.5) playing just 15 games.
While success for the Steelers this upcoming will hinge primarily on the play of quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, Watt still holds the honor of being the player most capable of single-handedly making game-changing plays.
Having elite defensive players pays dividends, and the Steelers certainly saw a return on their investment last season after making Watt the highest-paid defensive player ever.
Watt had a pair of sacks and a forced fumble in an unlikely Week 1 win over quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
He stripped quarterback Geno Smith setting up a game-winning overtime field goal to knock off an undermanned Seattle Seahawks squad in Week 6. Watt finished with three tackles-for-loss, three passes defended, and three sacks in the win.
Watt dominated the rival Baltimore Ravens to the tune of 3.5 sacks en route to a 20-19 win in Week 13.
This is who Watt has become, and barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances, he should be even better in 2022.
It should come as no surprise at all when Watt inevitably earns his fourth-straight team MVP award at season’s end.