On Thursday night, Myles Garrett took home the hardware for Defensive Player of the Year, spurring outrage from Pittsburgh Steelers fans who think TJ Watt was robbed. Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys, who finished third in the voting, came to Garrett's defense.
Of the three main finalists, Watt led in the following categories -- sacks, tackles, QB pressures, QB hits, tackles for loss, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, interceptions, pass deflections and defensive touchdowns. When presented with this information, Parsons said it was a 'horrible take' and that Myles faced more double teams. Most importantly, he asked fans to look past the stats and at the tape instead.
Overall, that's not a bad opinion. There is a reason Garrett won the award, even though he disappeared in the final third of the season. Clearly, the voters believe Garrett makes a greater impact on games despite the lack of statistical output.
Micah Parsons contradicts himself, takes another shot at TJ Watt
Despite saying the opposite just hours prior, Parsons balanced his argument by pointing to...a different statistic in an interview on Super Bowl media row with CBS Sports.
“I mean, look at the stats. The stats don’t lie. . . . I think [Watt] might have been fifth or sixth [in pass rush win rate and double team rate]. Alex Highsmith I think had a better pass rush rate and a more double team rate than T.J. Watt if you want to be statistical. This isn’t my stuff. I’m not just pulling this out of my hat. Like, look at the stats," Parsons said.
There are statistics to back up either player, which shows just how close they really are in terms of head-to-head competition. Garrett is a tremendous asset, and so is Watt. Parsons saying that Watt isn't in his top-5 of overall pass-rushers, however, is blasphemous and borderline disrespectful.
“People can say whatever they want, but the film does not lie. His presence is way more dominant than T.J. Watt, and that’s just the reality of it," Parsons continued.
While I certainly can understand what Parsons is trying to say -- baseline stats rarely tell the entire story -- backing up his own argument with a similar number isn't a great look. We can go back and forth all day. Ideally, much like Watt and Garrett, Parsons can move on from this argument.