The NFL has named Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt the AFC Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in the team’s 34-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Monday night. This marks Watt’s seventh Defensive Player of the Week award in his NFL career (2011-18) and first since Week 17 of the 2015 season. Watt is tied with Julius Peppers for the most Defensive Player of the Week awards among active players and tied for the seventh-most Defensive Player of the Week awards in NFL history.
Watt finished with nine total tackles (six solo), 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two quarterback hits and one tackle for loss. He split a sack with DE Christian Covington on Titans QB Marcus Mariota for a loss of four yards and then sacked and forced a fumble on Mariota for a loss of eight yards in the fourth quarter.
Watt now has an AFC-leading 11.5 sacks this season, which also ranks tied for second in the NFL. He has recorded at least 1.0 sack in four consecutive games for the seventh time in his career (also did it in Weeks 3-6 this season), which is the most streaks of four consecutive games with a sack in the NFL since 2011. Watt has joined Von Miller and Chandler Jones as the only players to record five seasons with 10.0-or-more sacks since 2011.
Watt has 87.5 sacks since entering the league in 2011, which is the second-most in the NFL during that span. He is currently tied with Leonard Little (87.5) for 49th on the all-time sack list and has the second-most through a player’s first 99 games of their NFL career, trailing only Reggie White (103.0). He is also the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks per game with an average of 0.88. Additionally, Watt owns the third-most sacks through Week 12 of a season in franchise history (11.5), trailing his own records in 2012 (14.5) and 2015 (13.5).
Watt has recorded more sacks against the Titans than any other opponent in his career (17.0) and the most sacks against the Titans by any opponent since 1982. He also registered his career-high fifth forced fumble of the season and the 20th of his NFL career (2011-18). He is tied for the most forced fumbles in the NFL this season and the fifth-most in the NFL since 2011.
Watt tallied his 19th quarterback hit of the year and leads the NFL in quarterback hits with 238 since he entered the league in 2011. He’s also recorded multiple quarterback hits in a game six times this season and now has 61 games with multiple quarterback hits since 2011, which is the most in the league over that span. Additionally, Watt notched his 13th tackle for loss of the season and leads the NFL in tackles for loss with 149 since 2011.
This the 42nd time a Texan has been named Player of the Week in franchise history and the second time this season (DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney won in Week 4 at Indianapolis). It is also the 16th time Houston has won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award in team history. Watt was also named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September earlier this season.