J.J. Watt Named 2015 AP Defensive Player of the Year: Latest Comments, Reaction

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2016

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans attempts to hype up the crowd during the AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

For the third time in his career, Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt has been named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, the NFL announced Saturday.

“When I started my career (2011), I don’t think anyone could have predicted the crazy amount of success I’ve been fortunate 2 have," Watt said, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.

"It's pretty incredible," Watt added, per McClain. "I couldn't have done it without my teammates and coaches."

Watt, 26, finished the 2015 season with 57 solo tackles, 17.5 sacks, eight pass deflections, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. The four-time Pro Bowler and four-time Associated Press first-team All-NFL selection was once again the biggest difference-maker on Houston's defense, leading the Texans to the postseason after a 1-4 start.

Despite winning the AFC South for the first time since 2012, the Texans ended their campaign on a sour note, as they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round, 30-0.

On an individual level, however, Watt is on pace to go down as one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history. His having 74.5 sacks after just five seasons in the league is hugely impressive, and at his current pace—he's averaging 14.9 sacks per season during his career—he'll break Bruce Smith's NFL record of 200 career sacks if he plays for nine more seasons.  

Maintaining his current clip won't be easy; however, last season Watt became the first player in NFL history with 20 or more sacks in two different campaigns, so no records seem safe. No matter what marks fall in the future, one thing is certain: Watt is indisputably the most dominant defensive player in football right now.  


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