Making the Case for JJ Watt as 2012 NFL MVPOctober 22, 2012
J.J. Watt has a real chance to join Lawrence Taylor in one of the NFL's most exclusive clubs.
Which club, you ask?
Oh, just the defensive players to win a league MVP club.
Right now, a club that has a membership of one.
Taylor accomplished the feat in 1986 and Jerry Rice won in 1987. Fifteen quarterbacks and nine running backs have taken home professional football's highest individual honor ever since.
Yeah, offense rules the NFL; we understand.
But Watt has built quite the case for himself.
He actually was held without a sack against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7, but his 9.5 quarterback takedowns through seven games still leads the league.
The sacks, though, they're nothing.
The 6'5'', 290-pound freak athletic has an absolutely ridiculous 10 pass deflections and two fumble recoveries. His 15 tackles for loss heading into Week 7 were also tops in the league.
But it's not just about the stats.
Watt is rapidly redefining conventional wisdom.
He's altering the standards typically set forth for defensive ends and doing so in completely dominating fashion. Watt's pass deflections are a thing of athletic brilliance, something someone that large and that muscular isn't supposed to be able to do.
He wins with bull rushes, speed rushes, counter moves and is just as stout against the run as he is ferocious getting after the quarterback.
Probably just as importantly, the second-year pro out of Wisconsin is making waves as the newly emerging leader of the 6-1 Houston Texans, the AFC's best team.
You know, one's MVP candidacy is always a little more legitimate when he's on a prolific team.
What's more, no one offensive player has ran away with the award just yet.
Although Aaron Rodgers has performed marvelously the past two weeks, his start to the season was not Rodgers-like. Tom Brady's not setting the world on fire compared to what he's done in the past, and there isn't a clear-cut top running back in football.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, to some, may be the front-runner. His team is undefeated and he's thrown 14 touchdowns to six interceptions—a great start to the season, but MVP worthy?
The bar recently set by Brady and Rodgers won't make it easier for Ryan.
If Watt continues to utterly overwhelm opposing offensive linemen, loads up on sacks and remains dynamic against the run, we very well could have our first defensive NFL MVP in over 25 years.
With Watt, it seems like anything's possible, doesn't it?