Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt has been the best edge rusher in the NFL so far in the 2021 season, and while that’s not especially surprising, given Watt’s history and pedigree, his level of dominance has been somewhat unprecedented.
Watt leads all players with a 40% pass-rush win rate, according to ESPN analytics. He’s fifth among edge rushers in run-stop win rate at 34%. The combination has Watt well separated from the field in terms of combined win rate, as compiled by ESPN’s Seth Walder.
Win rates at edge plot! Looking at run and pass this week.
Run stop win rate at edge (x) by pass rush win rate at edge (y).
T.J. Watt is all on his own. pic.twitter.com/WMOKgIVDjn
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) October 27, 2021
Cleveland’s Takkarist McKinley, Watt’s understudy Alex Highsmith and Browns ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney round out the top five in pass-rush win rate among edge rushers.
New Orleans’ Cameron Jordan, Highsmith, Patriots linebacker Deatrich Wise and Bengals end Sam Hubbard round out of the top five in run stopping.
That gives the Steelers with two outside linebackers in the top five combined in the league, which may be part of the reason Highsmith played every snap fo the team’s Week 6 game against the Seattle Seahawks and backup Melvin Ingram has requested a trade.