‘Aren’t Many EDGE Rushers Who Are As Consistently Disruptive’: Steelers Have T.J. Watt To Be ‘Thankful’ For
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, be grateful and thankful for things in life.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, that means being thankful that star outside linebacker T.J. Watt is a member of the organization.
In a piece from NFL.com’s Jeffri Chadiha Tuesday morning, Watt was the thing the Steelers should be most thankful for entering Week 12.
“We’ve been praising head coach Mike Tomlin all season for the job he’s done in Pittsburgh with an underwhelming offense. It’s time now to heap some love on the one player Tomlin can count on every week to deliver the game-changing plays that give the Steelers a chance at winning: Watt,” Chadiha writes regarding the Steelers being thankful for Watt. “There aren’t many edge rushers who are as consistently disruptive. Watt already has 11.5 sacks, putting him on pace for 19.5.
“He’s forced two fumbles, recovered three others, intercepted a pass and scored the game-winning touchdown on a fumble return in a Week 2 victory over the Browns. It’s hard to know if the Steelers can reach the playoffs without a productive offense (as we saw in Pittsburgh’s 13-10 loss to Cleveland on Sunday). What we do know is Watt will do his part.”
Watt has done his part for the Steelers so far this season. He’s going to continue to do his part, too.
The star outside linebacker has made history twice this season, surpassing James Harrison for the Steelers’ all-time sacks record and then passing older brother J.J. Watt in sacks in a player’s first 100 games, moving into second all-time behind Reggie White.
Without Watt, who knows where this Steelers team is this season. Last year, when Watt was on the shelf with a partially torn pectoral muscle, the Steelers were a mess, going 1-6 before he returned after the Week Nine bye. In his return, the Steelers then went 7-2 down the stretch to finish 9-8.
Pittsburgh got off to a strong start this season with Watt leading the way. Sitting at 6-4, Pittsburgh is right in the mix in the AFC playoff picture and still has a shot at winning the tough AFC North despite dropping a game Sunday to the Cleveland Browns. Watt already has 11.5 sacks on the season, a defensive touchdown, an interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
He continues to disrupt games and draws a ton of attention from opposing offenses, opening up things for other teammates in matchups. That only makes the Steelers better. But make no mistake: if Pittsburgh wants to get where it has its sights set this season, Watt is going to need to make big-time plays down the stretch.
Chances are, he’ll do just that.