Pittsburgh Steelers pass-rusher T.J. Watt likely should have won Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday night. The vote, much of which felt predetermined from the midseason mark, went in favor of Myles Garrett instead.
Watt did not attend the awards ceremony, much like Garrett went missing in the final third of the season. Both the Steelers and Browns lost their first playoff games, with Watt having a similar impact to Garrett -- though the former missed his game due to injury.
The DPOY race came down to Watt, Garrett and Micah Parsons. Of the three, 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. Even if you find some of the statistics fluky, it's tough to deny Watt's impact on the field this season.
T.J. wasn't thrilled with the outcome, and likely had this tweet preloaded and ready to go when Garrett's name was announced.
T.J. Watt robbed of DPOY: Where do Steelers go from here?
Watt is a sack artist, and one who thrived with his back against the wall. A motivated T.J. Watt is a good outcomes for the Steelers. However, thriving on individual accomplishment also goes against what Watt himself said about his own career goals.
"I'm not about the individual goals anymore," Watt said in December. "I've set myself up nice where I've been having a good career but it doesn't matter if you're not winning games when they matter most. I think that's objective No. 1, for sure."
Watt's frustration is understandable given the season he had. However, per his own words, what matters most to this Steelers great is team success. Pittsburgh hasn't had much of that lately. Postseason appearances are nice, but the Steelers haven't won a playoff game in nearly a decade. They haven't won the AFC since 2012. And they haven't won a Super Bowl since 2009.
Something has to change in the Steel City, and as one of the leaders in the locker room, perhaps that starts with Watt.