(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
T.J. Watt has been incredible through 11 games this season -- ranking first in sacks (11), quarterback hits (33) and tackles for a loss (17). He is in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year along with Los Angeles Rams' defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Cleveland Browns' defensive end Myles Garrett.
It was announced this morning that Watt won AFC Defensive Player of the Month for November (Weeks 8-12). Watt had 18 tackles (13 solos) 5.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits and three passes defensed in November. He had two games with multiple sacks in the month, including the Bengals and Ravens (Week 12) games when he had two apiece.
Watt has won AFC Defensive Player of the Month in both September and November this season. Nine players have earned the honor twice in a year and have players ultimately won DPOY -- Donald (2018), J.J. Watt (2012, 2014) Charles Woodson (2009) andBruce Smith (1996).
As mentioned, Watt has 11 sacks and 33 quarterback hits this season. He's the first player since 2015 and second over the last 15 years to record at least 11 sacks and 33 quarterback hits in the first 11 games of a season.
Watt can join his brother J.J. in a rare feat if he continues the trend he's on. Watt is on pace for 16 sacks and 48 quarterback hits in 2020. Watt would join his brother J.J. (2014, 2015) as the only players since quarterback hits began being tracked in 2006 to have 15-plus sacks and 45-plus quarterback hits -- and J.J. won DPOY both years.
As of right now heading into Week 13, Watt's main competition for DPOY is Donald and Garrett. Watt beats both in pretty much every major defensive statistical category. The big one is forced fumbles, Donald and Garrett both have four while Watt hasn't had any this year after having a league-high eight forced fumbles last season. Donald has 10 sacks this year, which is ridiculous for a defensive tackle, and Garrett has 9.5 sacks. Garrett has been out for the last two games due to being on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so he has some catching up to do with Donald and Watt.
Nevertheless, if Watt continues to gets sacks, tackles for a loss, quarterback hits, and maybe some forced fumbles, in the final month of the season, it would be hard to see him not winning DPOY for 2020.