Each week, the MVP talk surrounding J.J. Watt gets a little louder.
Whispers turned to shouts as Texans fans began chanting "MVP" at NRG Stadium following Watt's one-yard touchdown catch in Houston's 45-21 win over Tennessee.
In the midst of a career season, the two-time All-Pro defensive end tries not to get swept up in the excitement.
"I appreciate it," Watt said. "The thing that I've always said about these awards and the thing that I'll continue to say is that people can vote how they want. They get to have their own opinions. I can't control anybody's opinion. All I can do is go out there and play as hard as I can play, make as many plays as I can make, and try to help my team win football games and if people feel like I should be in consideration for an award, then feel free to vote for me."
Against the Titans, Watt recorded two sacks, one tackle for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, six quarterback hits and a fourth quarter touchdown catch. Watt has had five games this season with a sack and a fumble recovery, for eight total in his three-year career.
"It's great," Andre Johnson said. "There are not a lot of times you get to see a defensive end come on offense and catch touchdowns. I think it really gets the fans into it. The fans love him, so he keeps everybody pumped up. Like I said, that's why they pay him the big bucks. What he does on the field is amazing. He is another guy I'm glad I get to witness it in person. I'm glad he is my teammate."
Watt now has three offensive touchdowns, a fumble recovery and an interception returned for scores through 12 games. He is now the first defensive lineman in 70 years to have at least five touchdowns in a season. Chicago Bears defensive end Connie Mack Berry had six in 1944.
Watt's season may be MVP-worthy, but head coach Bill O'Brien says it's not a topic they discuss.
"I don't have anything to say about that; I don't think J.J. does either," O'Brien said. "I believe that we're all about the team. I think the best thing about J.J. is he's a great teammate. He just wants to win. We don't get into that. I don't even know how they vote for that to be honest with you.
"I'll tell you what, he's a dynamic player. He does a lot for us obviously on the field, but he does a lot for us off the field. In the locker room, in the community, obviously he's everything that you want in a great player. It's just fun to watch him play."
Watt has recorded 11.5 sacks on the season, becoming the first player in franchise history with three seasons of ten sacks or more. The two-time Pro Bowler also currently has a league-high 36 quarterback hits, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and 16 tackles for loss.
Texans players had a lot to say about Watt's career season after their Week 13 win:
Safety Danieal Manning: "I always said, it's not surprising at this point. It's almost like we are expecting something like that to happen from J.J., you never know when it's coming but it seems like it's always coming. It's coming in a bunch. Every other week, J.J. is doing something that is big for our team."
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins: "He's the MVP, man, hands down. That's the only way to put that."
Nose tackle Ryan Pickett: "He's unbelievable. He's having another unbelievable year. But no, I've never seen a defensive lineman change the game the way he does. Never. Not a lineman on any side of the football. He's unbelievable. We just sit back and watch and we're amazed like y'all. I love watching it, but never seen anything like it."
Safety D.J. Swearinger: "He's incredible. He does it week in and week out. You see it day in and day out in practice, you see it in the training room, you see it in the weight room – doing all the extra things and it pays off for him."
Left tackle Duane Brown: "It's crazy, man. When he came out there, everybody in the stadium knew he was getting the ball at that point, but it didn't matter. Fitz made a heck of a throw. There was good coverage and a heck of a play after that strip and fumble recovery, you can't say enough about him."
Tight end Ryan Griffin: "It was an unbelievable catch. I didn't see it from my angle but that snag, that wasn't right on his chest, he had to lay out and extend for it. It was a hell of a catch. We all know he can do it. He does it every week in practice. We will do the red zone or seven on seven and he will make plays like that. We all know he can do it."
Cornerback Johnathan Joseph: "I would say unbelievable, but I witnessed today so it's true. I wanted him to get it on the scoop up from the fumble but it was a great call by the coaching staff, you know, putting him in a position to succeed. Obviously, he's going to make the tough catch time after time so, it's a great compliment to him and the coaching staff."