It’s been a great month for T.J. Watt. He’s been named September’s AFC Defensive Player of the Month after a dominant first month of the season.
Through the first three weeks of the season, Watt leads the NFL with six sacks. He’s also tied for the league-lead in QB pressures with 19, forced fumbles with two, and is second in the NFL with five tackles for a loss. His 12 QB hits also pace the league.
Watt’s season got off to a hot start with a three-sack performance in Week One against the San Francisco 49ers. He followed that up with a a sack and a fumble recovery for a touchdown to beat the Cleveland Browns in Week Two. And in Week Three’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders, he recorded two more sacks and several more pressures as the Steelers’ defense led the team to victory.
He’s even made an impact without pressuring the quarterback, batting down a pair of passes this year. The focal point of opposing offenses, his presence helps open up chances for other players and the Steelers’ pass rush has been excellent, Pittsburgh leading the league with 13 sacks.
Fully healthy after being hampered by injuries last year, Watt once again looks like one of the best players in football. Based on how things have started, he has a chance to break the NFL sack record, which he currently holds a share of with 22.5. He has another promising matchup this Sunday against the Houston Texans and their injured offensive line.
This is the fourth time in Watt’s career he’s been named AFC Defensive Player of the Month. He also won it in November 2019, September 2020, and November 2020. The last Steeler other than Watt to be named Player of the Month was RB James Conner, taking home those honors in October 2018.