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Texans Top 100: J.J. Watt wins 2012 Defensive Player of the Year

Wade Phillips said that.

The Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator didn't say it yesterday. Or last year.

He said it in late July of 2012, over a month before Watt grabbed the NFL by it's proverbial shoulders, shook it ferociously, and turned in one of the finest defensive seasons in the League's history.

Back then, Phillips was in his second year as the Texans defensive coordinator. He'd seen Watt turn in a solid rookie campaign, that crescendoed in the months of December and January, when he became a playmaker on a great defense.

Phillips had seen enough of Watt on the field, and off it, to know that the Texans had something special in the second-year defensive end. Watt then proceeded to go out and make Phillips look like a prophet.

The stat lines from that campaign are gaudy.

20.5 sacks.

39 tackles for loss.

16 batted passes.

43 quarterback hits.

He and the Texans went 12-4 that season, and Watt was the driving force on a defense that saw captain DeMeco Ryans get traded prior to the season, and 2011 team MVP Brian Cushing go down with a knee injury in the fifth week of the campaign.

On an almost weekly basis, he found a way to litter the various categories of a stat sheet. Watt rang up seven multi-sack games. He batted a pass down in eight games. He hit the quarterback at least once in every game, and in 12 games he hit the quarterback multiple times. In every game but two, Watt registered a tackle for loss.

Watt would win the award again in 2014 and 2015.

Check out the best shots of DE J.J. Watt from the 2018 season.

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