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It was announced on Wednesday that T.J. Watt was selected as the Pro Football Writers of America Defensive Player of the Year. This news suggests that Watt will be named NFL DPOY by the Associated Press, which is the official award, as six of the last seven players to win DPOY from the PFWA have also won the AP award.
Watt is the second Steelers player to ever to be named PFWA DPOY, which was first presented in 1992. James Harrison won the award in 2008.
On Tuesday, Watt was selected as the 101 Awards AFC Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He was also named to the Pro Football Writers All-NFL team this week.
Watt recorded 22.5 sacks this season, a figure that tied Michael Strahan for the NFL single-season sack record. Watt was named first-team All-Pro unanimously by the AP in 2021, which is another sign that he should win DPOY. Along with leading the league in sacks, Watt also led the NFL in tackles for loss with 21. It was the second consecutive year that Watt led the league in sacks and tackles for loss.
Watt is one of only two players in NFL history to have 20 plus sacks in 14 or fewer games since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. The only other one to do it was Hall of Famer Reggie White, who had 21 sacks in 12 games in 1987 in a strike-shortened season.
Watt was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth consecutive season and was voted as the Steelers' MVP by his teammates for the third straight year. This is the third consecutive year that Watt's been named first-team All-Pro.