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Micah Parsons: T.J. Watt is Not a Top 5 Pass Rusher in NFL

Micah Parsons does not believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is a Top 5 pure pass rusher.



Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers OLb T.J. Watt in a game against the Tennessee Titans, Nov. 8, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Micah Parsons made some buzz on Thursday night when he said Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt should not have won the Defensive Player of the Year Award over Myles Garrett on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

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 Parsons and Las Vegas’ Maxx Crosby.

“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.

Joining the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports, however, Parsons went even further than those comments. When asked to list the best pure pass rushers in the NFL, Watt was not included in Parsons’ top five.

“I think I’m probably the best pure speed pass rusher,” Parsons said. “But if you’re talking about defensive ends, run and everything, but if you’re talking about pure pass rusher, I would say if you look at my win rate, I was the best one this year. So, it would be me. And then I would say Myles, then Maxx, then Nick Bosa, and then I would say — I mean, look at the stats. The stats don’t lie. He was fifth or sixth, but I think Alex Highsmith might have had a better pass rush win rate. And he had a more double team rate than T.J. Watt if you really want to be statistical. Like, this isn’t my stuff. I’m not just pulling it out of my ass.”

For what it’s worth, Highsmith did have the better pass rush win rate according to PFF, edging out Watt at with 18% while Watt had a 16.9% pass rush win rate.

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.

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February 9, 2024 6:21 pm

I’m shocked Garret was picked over TJ Watt. Another example of the NFL cowling to woke society.

Jesus Christani
Jesus Christani
February 9, 2024 6:30 pm

Micah Parsons looked absolutely silly against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs this season… That’s my metric for the day… And he, literally, is one of the most unwise players I have ever listened to… Why would I take his word or his interpretation on who is the best of anything?

Now, if this was Mike Singletary or Ray Lewis commenting about TJ Watt, I would not only listen, I would pull out my iPhone to take notes and record every word…

da triplehorns
February 10, 2024 11:04 am

Nice Hazues!

February 9, 2024 9:13 pm

The really WEIRD thing about this nonsense is that TJ Watt won both the players AND the coaches poll earlier this week as the DPOY. Is Micah trying to intimate that the players and coaches need to watch more film? Fuck off with your silly bullshit Micah!

Last edited 11 days ago by SteelYinzer
February 9, 2024 9:48 pm

Ray Lewis doesn’t even consider Micah Parsons to be in the top LB’s in the NFL so there is that lol.

February 10, 2024 4:23 am

Parsons is illusional. Isn’t the NFL the organization of statistics and statistics don’t lie. Check the stats, TJ Watts won hand-down over every pass rushers. Parsons is a cry baby!

da triplehorns
February 10, 2024 11:12 am
Reply to  Kawporn

Nailed it!

February 10, 2024 9:58 am

Honestly, this take makes Micah Parsons look like an absolute and complete idiot. I mean, fair enough if he thinks Myles was better (I disagree, but that’s me), BUT not top 5? They better drug test that sucker!

da triplehorns
February 10, 2024 11:14 am
Reply to  SteelYinzer

I;m thinking Parsons doesn’t like white people but is afraid of Maxx…

da triplehorns
February 10, 2024 11:03 am

Whoa! I think it’s possible Micah has a some kind of HATE towards TJ??? UH?

February 12, 2024 5:46 pm

Micah, must need eye surgery badly.

February 19, 2024 9:18 pm
Reply to  mckg

No just a brain upgrade.