Monday, December 29, 2014

A Case For JJ Watt For NFL MVP

A repeat post with an update after the final regular season game for the Texans in 2014.

This post, before the update at the end of the post, was originally published on Dec. 2, 2014:

2014 Defensive player of the year--MVP?
I think there is now a consensus among sports pundits that JJ Watt, the defensive end for the Houston Texans, is the most dominating force on defense in the NFL.  With the season he is having with his sacks, QB hits, disrupting passes, tackles, and spectacular plays [like picking off a pass and running 80 yards for a TD] he will certainly be named the league's defensive player of the year. 

While that is almost certainly a consensus, there is a split decision on whether JJ should even be considered for the league's MVP.  Many say because there is that award for defensive player of the year, it is not right for him to be in the MVP discussion-that should be for an offensive player.  I think this argument, a good one, can be compared in Major League Baseball to a pitcher who would win the Cy Young award not being eligible for the MVP.  It is slightly different in that a pitcher only pitches about once every five games where as all the other non pitchers play every [nearly] game. Where in the NFL, the defensive players will play as much as the offensive players do in a game.

While I admit that is a good argument for JJ not being considered for the MVP, here is where that argument does not apply in JJ Watt's season he is having so far.  JJ Watt has not just been a great player on defense, but he has also been used as a Tight End and a Fullback where he also has 3 TD catches.  And in two of those TD's, they would be described as good catches by a regular TE or WR.  I predict JJ will get at least one more if not two more offensive TDs before the season is over.

Think about that JJ Watt has a total of 5 TDs in 12 games, as many as some offensive stars have.  Even not counting the two defensive TD's, his 3 offensive TD's would be comparable to a pitcher, who was also used as a pinch hitter, in a 162 game season hitting 30 home runs.  And if it wasn't just any pitcher, what if it was the most dominating pitcher in the game also hitting 30 home runs, would that pitcher than be considered for the MVP?  Of course, that was a rhetorical question with the answer obvious.

You may say that is not fair comparison, because even a starting pitcher who would be used occasionally as a pinch hitter, still basically only plays in about 35 games.  That is still almost 3 times more than JJ's 12 games, so far.  Then my comparison would still mean a starting pitcher hitting 9 HR's, if you looked at JJ Watt's offensive TD's and 15 HR's if you considered JJ's total number of TD's.    So, again, I ask the rhetorical question:  Should the most dominating starting pitcher in Major League Baseball, who also hits 15 HR's be considered for the MVP of the league?

JJ Watt returns interception for 79 yards for TD vs the Buffalo Bills

JJ Watt's Touchdown as a TE vs. The Cleveland Browns:

So, my conclusion is that if JJ Watt continues his unbelievable defensive dominance, to go along with the TDs he has scored, he should strongly be considered for the Most Valuable Player of the NFL.
UPDATE:   The Texans have just finished their season with a winning 9-7 record, improving greatly from their 2-14, 2013 season due to a very large part to DE JJ Watt's remarkable play.  This last game to make the case for the MVP,  JJ led the Texans to a win with 3 sacks one forced fumble, 3 tackles, and one forced safety to put an exclamation point on his magical season.

JJ Watt now becomes the only player in NFL history to have a recorded 20 sacks or more in two different seasons.  That history making alone should win JJ Watt some votes for MVP.  With his safety in this game that means JJ Watt has scored points for the Texans with a safety and 5 TDs.  

I don't think I am wrong in saying JJ Watt has scored points in more different ways than any player in NFL history, especially any defensive lineman in NFL history.  He has scored points with a safety, an 80 yard pick 6, a fumble recovered for a TD, receiving a touchdown pass twice as an offensive Tight End, and receiving a touchdown pass as a running back [in motion]. 

JJ Watt's final 2014 stats include 75 combined tackles, 20.5 sacks, 4 forced  fumbles, 10 swats of passes and close to [although I'm not sure of the final stats on this one] 90 QB pressures.  

You knew it would take something special for a defensive player to win the MVP award and I think it was special for JJ Watt to make history with his sack total and with his touchdowns [scored in more ways than any defensive player in NFL history--if someone can prove me wrong on that assertion, I stand corrected, but I don't believe it is wrong]

In conclusion, I now believe JJ Watt's strong finish to this amazing record breaking season of his, and because he has led the Texans to this winning season, he deserves to be the MVP of the NFL for the 2014 regular season. 

UPDATE 12/29I had to add this brilliant point I just heard made by Houston sports journalist and talk show host Nick Wright, co-host with John Lopez, on his "In The Loop" show in the morning.   

If you look at the stats put up by JJ Watt this year, he is so far ahead of every other defensive player in 2014 in the NFL that it is not a close call.   On the other hand, Aaron Rogers [the main rival of the MVP award with JJ Watt] did not by far and away clearly have the best stats as a QB in the NFL [as he gave for one example his stats that compared favorably to Dallas QB, Tony Romo's stats].  

In fact, while Nick said he does believe Aaron Rogers had the best season as QB this year, one could rationally make the case that he is not the top QB this year.  

So for one player, like JJ, to have such a great season that he stands for and above every other peer on the defensive end, trumps a QB like Aaron Rogers, who while having a great season, was not far and away the best at his position.


Anonymous said...

Well done, Boomer Says he should be, and he has a vote. The more MVP voters that start mentioning it, the better chance he has

Big Mike said...

Right you are big Stephen.