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J.J. Watt Locks Up His Third AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award

Houston Texans J.J. Watt locks up his third AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, putting him in rare company with Lawrence Taylor.

Count it, this marks the third NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year award for Houston Texans defensive end, J.J. Watt joins New York Giants Lawrence Taylor as the only two defensive players in NFL history to garner the prestigious award three times in his five year career. 

The 26-year-old defensive end finished the 2015 season leading the NFL in sacks (17.5), tackles for loss (29) and quarterback hits (50). Watt also recorded 76 tackles (57 solo), eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on the way to his third AFC South Division title in the last five years. His sack total ranks as the third-highest single-season mark in franchise history behind his 20.5 sacks in 2012 and 2014.

Watt had six multi-sack (2.0-or-more) games in 2015 and now has 21 such games in his career, the second-most of any player in the NFL over his first five seasons in league history. Watt also put together his third career 15.0-sack season, the second-most in the NFL since 1982. Reggie White is the only other player to notch three 15.0-sack seasons in his first five years in the league.

The 2015 season was his fourth-straight season with 10.0-or-more sacks, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. Watt also became the first player in team history with four seasons (2012-15) of 10-or-more sacks.

Watt also locked up his third PWFA’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year award matching his AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 2012, 2014 and now in 2016. He was also select4d to the Pro Bowl, AP All-Pro First Team and PFWA All-NFL Team for the fourth consecutive year. 

Final Voting 

Name Votes
J.J. Watt 37
Aaron Donald (L.A. Rams) 7
Luke Kuechley (Carolina Panthers) 4
Josh Norman (Carolina Panthers) 2

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