Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett is officially the Defensive Player of the Year, edging out Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt on Thursday. Garrett earned 23 first-place votes while Watt earned 19 first-place votes, and Garrett beat Watt by just 25 points in the final voting. Following Garrett and Watt was Dallas’ Micah Parsons and Las Vegas’ Maxx Crosby.
But Parsons does not see the argument for Watt at all. In fact, he blasted the argument that Watt should win the Defensive Player of the Year Award on X, the app formerly known as Twitter.
“Horrible take!! Myles was the better player!! Reality of the situation ! Myles Faced way more double teams and affect on qbs! Fans please stop looking at stats and look at film please,” Parsons said of the situation.
And the Steelers star did face fewer double teams. If you are looking at why Garrett won the award, you will not find it in traditional counting stats. Watt, who won the award in 2021, was the most statistically dominant defensive player in the NFL this season by traditioning counting stats. Watt 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 the early 1980s. Deacon Jones of the Los Angeles Rams unofficially led the league in sacks five times 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.
But Garrett won in metrics like Pass Rush Win Rate and Pressure Rate while being double-teamed at a higher rate. That led to Garrett securing his first Defensive Player of the Year Award over Watt. For those Pro Football Focus metrics, Pass Rush Win Rate is where Garrett soared above the league. Garrett was graded as having a 27.3% win rate, the highest in the league. He was also assigned 60 hurries compared to 47 for Watt.
Watt was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year by the 101 Committee, and won recent anonymous player and fan votes for the award. But Garrett won the Pro Football Writers version of the award and took home more hardware on Thursday night.