HOUSTON – Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt was named the Pro Football Writers of America Defensive Player of the Year, it was announced today. Watt, who also won the award in 2012, joins Bruce Smith (1993 and 1996) and Ray Lewis (2000 and 2003) as the only players to earn the distinction twice.
The accolade is the latest in a growing list of honors for Watt, who was named to the Pro Bowl, Associated Press All-Pro First Team and PFWA All-NFL team for the third consecutive year following a season for the ages.
The 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft became the first player in NFL history with a receiving touchdown, safety, fumble return for a touchdown and interception return for a touchdown in a single season. Watt also became the first player in NFL history to record two seasons with more than 20 sacks (20.5 in 2012 and again in 2014) and joined Jason Taylor as the only player to record 10 sacks and 10 passes defensed in two different seasons since 1991. In addition, Watt was the first defensive lineman since Chicago Bears DE Connie Mack Berry in 1944 to have at least five touchdowns in a season the first player since Chicago Bears DB J.C. Caroline in 1956 to score multiple touchdowns on offense and defense in the same season.
One of two unanimous AP All-Pro selections, Watt totaled 78 tackles and 20.5 sacks and scored 32 points on three receiving touchdowns, a fumble return touchdown, an interception return touchdown and a safety. The fourth-year pro out of Wisconsin led the NFL with 50 quarterback hits, 29 tackles for loss and five fumble recoveries and ranked second in the league in sacks (20.5), tied for second in defensive touchdowns (two) and tied for third in forced fumbles (four).
Watt had two or more sacks in all six division games in 2014 and his 14 sacks within the division were the most since the NFL moved to a six-game division schedule in 2002. He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September and December and his 9.0 sacks in the final month of the season were the most since 1982.
2014 HONORS FOR J.J. WATT
Defensive Player of the Year
First-Team All-Pro (Unanimous)
Pro Bowl Starter
AFC Defensive Player of the Month (December)
AFC Defensive Player of the Month (September)