MVP Within Reach for J.J. Watt?

J.J. Watt is a legitimate MVP candidate this year. Not only has he been dominant on the defensive side of the ball, he’s also making an impact on offense as well. He even has more total touchdowns than some of the best wide receivers and running backs in the game!

At this point J.J. Watt is an absolute lock for defensive player of the year. But does he have a shot at MVP? No defensive player has won the MVP award since Lawrence Taylor in 1986. The only positions that have won the award since Taylor are running backs and quarterbacks. Like L.T., Watt is having an outstanding season and single-handedly disrupting offenses. For the season he now has 9.5 sacks, 6 batted balls, 9 tackles for loss, one INT, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and four total touchdowns. All active quarterbacks should be thankful they didn't play during L.T.'s era:

Below look at how Watt compares to some of the best offensive players in the game. He has more receiving touchdowns than Andre Johnson, the number one receiver on his own team! Watt has two receiving touchdowns on only six offensive snaps this season. Yes, he’s only been on the field inside the five yard line, but what a conversion rate! Johnson has 614 snaps on offense and most of the players on this list have at least 400. The receiving touchdowns are crucial. To win MVP, Watt needs to impact the game in as many ways as possible.

Charles Woodson was the last defensive player to win the Heisman trophy. Woodson was a lockdown corner and the best defensive player in college that year. His contributions on special teams and offense separate him from other great defensive players that have failed to win the award. As a punt returner, he had 33 returns for 283 yards - including a notable return for a touchdown against Ohio State in the last game that was fresh in the minds of voters. On offense, Woodson had 246 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. Woodson made his mark all over the field. While Watt probably won’t be returning any punts, Woodson is an example of Watt needs to do over the final 6 games.

Watt has scored twice on only six offensive snaps. What if the Houston Texans played him for a series once they got inside the five? Even a couple of snaps per game would make a huge difference. If Watt adds one or two more touchdowns the rest of the season, it would significantly strengthen his resume. After all, the MVP is an offensive award.

Most importantly the Texans WANT Watt to win the MVP. Why else put him on the goal line and throw him a fade? They have two awesome receivers to throw fades to. Andre Johnson is a future hall of famer at 6-3 219 lbs. DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best young wide receivers in football drafted in the first round in 2013. Watt caught his first touchdown wide open in the endzone, but catching a fade has a high degree of difficulty. (The Giants lost the game against the 49ers on Sunday by trying to complete three fades in a row). Sunday’s reception was a low percentage play that implies Watt will continue to get scoring chances.

If you missed it, Watt's best Gronk impression from the weekend:

The Texans also need to remain competitive in the wildcard hunt. They’re 5-5 with no margin of error. Fortunately, two of those games are against the 1-9 Jaguars, and they have one game against the Titans at home. If the Texans can win those games and Watt finishes the season strong, don’t be surprised if a defensive player wins the MVP for the first time in 28 years.


Scout NFL Network Top Stories