Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Here’s an excerpt from my Trib column: 

T.J. Watt won the Cleveland game and won Sunday’s game at Los Angeles. He’s directly responsible for two of the Steelers’ four wins. Watt got no sacks against the Rams. But his interception on the first play of the second half seized momentum and jump-started a Steelers offense that was dormant to that point by giving it a short field at Los Angeles’ 7-yard line. Watt does more to get the Steelers points than lots of guys on the offensive side of the ball. 

To read the whole piece, click HERE

Perhaps Watt should be both the offensive and defensive MVP for the Steelers. 

But does the incendiary outside linebacker have a chance to be NFL MVP? 

Probably not. 

A defensive player hasn’t won MVP since 1986. That was New York Giants outside 'backer Lawrence Taylor. The last time before that was Minnesota lineman Alan Page in 1971. 

Football has become much more offensive since Taylor got honored. The statistics have spiraled upward. 

But, comparing basic stats among the usual suspects, Watt seems a clear-cut front-runner to be NFL Defensive Player of the Year, an award he won in 2021. 

*Watt: 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception. 

*Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland: 5½ sacks, 1 forced fumble, zero interceptions. 

*Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas: 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, zero interceptions. 

*Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams: 2½ sacks, no forced fumbles, zero interceptions. 

*Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco: 2½ sacks, no forced fumbles, zero interceptions. 

Kansas City lineman Chris Jones could nudge his way into the conversation with 5½ sacks. So could San Francisco linebacker Fred Warner. 

But Watt won’t get MVP, even if he’s deserving. It’s not an offensive award. Nobody besides a quarterback has won it since 2012. 

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams

Photo: Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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