Skip to main content

J.J. Watt on MVP chances: 'It doesn't matter to me'

On the Week 14 recap edition of the Around The NFL Podcast, Dan Hanzus and Gregg Rosenthal suggested Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt should be the favorite for MVP honors after another dominant performance in Sunday's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Watt has generated five sacks, 12 quarterback hits and a receiving touchdown since he ranked third on our list of top MVP candidates three weeks ago.

Asked about the possibility of becoming the first defensive player to win the award since Lawrence Taylor in 1986, Watt refused the opportunity to make a case for himself.

"That's for people like you to decide, not me," Watt told The MMQB's Peter King. "I can't change any voters' minds, and I don't think I should try. I don't care, actually. It doesn't matter to me.

"If people vote for me, great. But to politic for it, no. Please vote for me? No. People who play don't get to decide who wins, nor should they. I want to be deserving, but not because I politicked for it. My play on the field is all that should matter. Nothing else."

In one sense, Watt is fortunate to play in an era of advanced metrics that can more accurately convey his transcendent production.

His 82.5 combined sacks, pressures and quarterback hits are 18.5 more than those of Von Miller, the next-closest player. That doesn't even include the forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, batted passes and the first five-touchdown season by a defensive lineman since 1944.

It's easy to illustrate Watt's supremacy over every other defensive player. The challenge is convincing voters that he is so much better than any player at his position that it offsets the inherent imbalance of the quarterback's importance in football.

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy insists Aaron Rodgers is a "much better player" now than he was during the 2011 MVP season that set the NFL record for passer rating. In other words, Rodgers is playing football's most valuable position at a higher level than it has ever been played.

That's a lot to overcome for the driving force on a mediocre 7-6 team that ranks 27th in yards allowed and has yet to beat a quarterback better than Brian Hoyer.

It has been more than 40 years since a player on a non-playoff team was decorated with MVP honors. Watt is not undeserving of the award, but his odds of winning it might increase in a future season when no quarterback stands out from the crowd.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from Week 14 and discusses the Seahawks' return to Super Bowl form. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content