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J.J. Watt named AFC Defensive Player of the Month

The NFL named Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September.

This marks Watt's sixth Player of the Month award in his career, which is tied for the most by any defensive player in NFL history (Bruce Smith) and tied for the fourth-most Player of the Month awards overall. Only Tom Brady (10), Peyton Manning (eight) and Aaron Rodgers (eight) have won more. Watt also won the award in September 2012, December 2012, September 2014, December 2014 and November 2015.

Watt is one of nine players in Texans history to win the award and one of five defensive players, joining Marcus Coleman (September 2003), Connor Barwin (November 2011), Whitney Mercilus (December 2015) and Quintin Demps (December 2016). It's the 16th time overall a Texan has won Player of the Month in franchise history and the first since Deshaun Watson in October 2017.

In four games in September, Watt compiled 20 total tackles (14 solo), 5.0 sacks for a loss of 33 yards, eight quarterback hits, six tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. Watt ranks tied for first in the NFL this season in forced fumbles, tied for second in sacks, tied for fifth in quarterback hits and tied for fourth in tackles for loss. In the AFC, Watt is the leader in sacks and forced fumbles while tying for third in both tackles for loss and quarterback hits.

Watt became the second-fastest NFL player to reach 80.0 career sacks, doing so in his 92nd career game in Week 4 at Indianapolis (Reggie White - 70 games). He recorded 3.0 sacks against the N.Y. Giants in Week 3 and 2.0 at Indianapolis in Week 4. Watt's franchise-record 81.0 career sacks are the second-most through a player's first 92 games of their NFL career, trailing only White (99.0).

Watt is one of five players to record at least six total tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in a game this season and the only player in the NFL to accomplish the feat twice in 2018 (Weeks 2-3). Watt has recorded 2.0 sacks and four tackles for loss in a game eight times in his career, which is the most by any player since tackles for loss became an official NFL statistic. Against the N.Y. Giants, Watt recorded 3.0-or-more sacks for the sixth time, which is the second-most in the NFL since 2011 (Justin Houston – seven).

In Houston's win Week 4 at Indianapolis, Watt finished with four tackles (four solo), 2.0 sacks, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit and two forced fumbles. Watt has now recorded multiple sacks in back-to-back games seven times in his NFL career, which is the most in NFL history. He also tied Richard Dent (23) for the second-most games of multiple sacks by a player in his first 100 career games, trailing only White (29).

In Week 3 vs. the N.Y. Giants, Watt finished with eight total tackles (four solo), 3.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and one forced fumble. Watt is now responsible for three of the five occurrences where a player has recorded at least eight total tackles, 3.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and one forced fumble in the same game since each of those stats began being officially tracked by the NFL (Week 15 of 2012, Week 17 of 2015 and Week 3 of 2018).

Since his rookie season in 2011, despite missing 24 games in 2016-17, Watt still leads the NFL in tackles for loss (142), quarterback hits (227), fumble recoveries (13) and multi-sack games (23). Watt is also second in sacks in the NFL over the span and tied for fifth with 19 forced fumbles.

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