NEW ORLEANS -- J.J. Watt ended one of the most dominant defensive seasons in NFL history in appropriate fashion. He's the 2012 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Frankly, it would have been a crime if anyone else won.
The selection committee also agreed Watt dominated -- he received all but one vote in being selected as the NFL's top defensive standout.
Watt was dangerous as a pass rusher despite rushing from the inside, finishing with 20.5 sacks. He was a stout run stuffer, with 23 tackles for loss. And Watt wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks with an NFL-record 16 tipped passes.
Let's put Watt's dominance in perspective, Watt had 56 "defeats" this season, according to Football Outsiders. (A defeat is a forced turnover, a tackle for a loss, or a tackle or pass defensed that stopped a drive. In short: How many times did a defensive player completely ruin a play or drive?).
The previous all-time high for "defeats" was 45, set by Ray Lewis in 1999. Watt beat that by 11. Miller had 39 defeats, good for seventh-best ever.
It was one of the greatest defensive seasons in modern NFL history. Now it will live on in the record books.