May 12, 2021

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T.J. Watt Joined Some Elite Company With His Fine…

3 min read
T.J. Watt Joined Some Elite Company With His Fine...


Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt had a very impressive 2019 season as the former first-round draft pick out of Wisconsin registered 14.5 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions on top of his 55 total tackles. While those 2019 stats that Watt registered have been discussed in various ways since the end of the season, they were recently put into a great perspective.

According to NFL Research, in 2019, Watt became just the third player since 2000 – following Jason Taylor (2006) and Terrell Suggs (2011) – with 10 or more sacks, seven or more forced fumbles and two or more interceptions in a season. How is that for some fine company? Additionally, Watt accomplished that feat at 25 years of age while Suggs was 29 when he did it and Taylor was 32.

Assuming the data on Pro Football Reference is correct, you can add former NFL players Richard Dent (1985) and Tony Brackens (1999) to the list of Watt, Taylor and Suggs who have accomplished the aforementioned statistical feat in a single season. And if you’re scoring at home, Dent and Taylor are already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Suggs will likely join both not soon after he’s eligible to do so.

Not that we should compare a lot of the players mentioned above, it’s awfully hard not to. Looking at the first three NFL seasons each of the five players listed above played, Watt’s stat totals in key areas certainly do stack up well. While Dent has Watt in total sacks through the first three seasons, the latter has the former in total tackles, interceptions and forced fumbles.

So, how does the Steelers Watt stack up to his older brother J.J. Watt through three seasons played? Very nicely and I also included the older Watt’s stat-line in the table below.

Assuming he stays healthy, Watt figures to have another double-digit sack season in 2020. Should he register 15.5 or more sacks in 2020, he’ll hit at least 50, which is something only seven other Steelers payers managed to do during their careers in Pittsburgh. With 12 more sacks, Watt will move into tenth place on the Steelers all-time sack list. That’s certainly plausible.

A repeat of Watt’s 2019 season in 2020 could result in him being the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, an award you can make a great argument for that he deserved to win last season.

Through First Three NFL Season

PLAYER G TACK SCK INT YDS TD FF FR YDS TD
Richard Dent 48 89 37.5 2 10 1 12 3 0 0
J.J. Watt 48 217 36.5 0 0 0 8 6 9 0
T.J. Watt 47 177 34.5 3 24 0 15 4 0 0
Terrell Suggs 48 165 30.5 3 49 0 9 7 31 0
Tony Brackens 43 138 17.5 1 27 0 11 7 8 0
Jason Taylor 44 139 16.5 1 0 0 5 4 4 1


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