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Antonio Smith bangs the drum for J.J. Watt as MVP

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Getty Images

It’s been 26 years since a defensive player won the MVP award handed out by the Associated Press every year.

Texans defensive end Antonio Smith thinks it is time for that to change and he thinks his teammate J.J. Watt should be the first defensive player to take home the award since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.

“Frankly, I’m just tired of everybody thinking that only offensive players can be MVP,” Smith said, via Nick Scurfield of the team’s website. “Get out of the old, step into the new. Vote J.J. Watt.”

The MVP award as basically been limited to quarterbacks since Taylor’s victory. Running backs have won the award seven times since Taylor’s win, with one of those wins coming in 1997 when Barry Sanders shared the award with Brett Favre. The last non-quarterback to win the award was LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006.

Watt’s got as persuasive a case as any defensive player since Taylor. He has 19.5 sacks, production we aren’t used to seeing from a 3-4 defensive end, and he’s altered many other passes by knocking them down or deflecting them at the line of scrimmage. He’s also a key part of the league’s fifth-best run defense. Every team that plays Watt has to account for him on every  snap or run an even greater risk of watching him blow up their play. There’s little doubt the Texans would be sitting with a record somewhere south of 12-2 if not for Watt’s presence in the lineup.

Despite all of that, we’re not putting our money on a Watt win. Quarterback is the glory position in the NFL and their involvement in every offensive play makes it hard for any other player to stand out as more valuable. If it isn’t a quarterback this year, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is a likelier winner than Watt although Watt would be plenty deserving should this year’s voters decide to buck convention.

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36 Responses to “Antonio Smith bangs the drum for J.J. Watt as MVP”
  1. jakec4 says: Dec 20, 2012 5:30 PM

    Von Miller

  2. canadianvikingfaniii says: Dec 20, 2012 5:39 PM

    1 MVP award is just not enough for these great players leading their teams.

  3. dirtydiapers2011 says: Dec 20, 2012 5:42 PM

    Von miller has less tackles for loss and less passes defended. Therefore, you have no argument

  4. txtuff says: Dec 20, 2012 5:46 PM

    Mega-Watt has 84 plays this year for no gain or lose yards!!! 84 plays!!!! This includes swatted passes, sacks, and tackles for lose. That is a 6 play avg pre game for no gain or lose of yards! Heard this today on the local radio and it is just so hard to believe.

  5. tennis22drew says: Dec 20, 2012 5:47 PM

    Defensive POTY anyone?

    Should there be an Offensive POTY award?

  6. trollhammer20 says: Dec 20, 2012 5:49 PM

    I gotta go with AP. The thing that sealed it for me is, in six of his last eight games, he’s had more rushing yards than Christian Ponder has passing yards. Teams are loading up to stop him and he’s still making them pay.

    They are a 2-14 team without him, on the cusp of the playoffs with him.

  7. jakec4 says: Dec 20, 2012 5:49 PM

    dirtydiapers2011 says: Dec 20, 2012 5:42 PM

    Von miller has less tackles for loss and less passes defended. Therefore, you have no argument

    —————————————————————-

    Watt is this year’s Jared Allen but on a good team. Miller brings more to his team than Watt does. It’s not meant to be anything more than an opinion. The intangibles are never considered. It’s always cut and dry stats.

  8. chicagobtech says: Dec 20, 2012 5:54 PM

    Peyton
    Peterson
    J.J. Watt

    Sorry Texan fans, I see those two players contributing more to their teams success than Watt is.

  9. walker615 says: Dec 20, 2012 5:58 PM

    I have to step in and defend Von Miller here (as a biased broncos fan, of course). It is obvious at this point that Watt deserves to win DPOY at this point, I’ll freely acknowledge that. But the scorn that the mere suggestion of Miller draws is off base.

    A previous poster said there was “no argument” for Miller, cherry picking stats in Watts favor. However, miller does have a couple of significant points in his favor: his 6 FF’s (huge for pass rusher) and a pick 6.

    Don’t dismiss Von.

  10. larondontlikeugly says: Dec 20, 2012 6:10 PM

    In ’82 the league began to record sacks as a statistic for defensive players. I would like to see the same thing happen for swatted passes on and behind the line of scrimmage.

  11. mute617 says: Dec 20, 2012 6:13 PM

    Peanut Tillman forced 4 fumbles in 1 game. So 6 on the year from Von Miller isn’t too impressive.

  12. kattykathy says: Dec 20, 2012 6:17 PM

    Watt absolutely deserves MVP

    Peterson should get Comeback award

  13. packerpride03 says: Dec 20, 2012 6:18 PM

    I hate the queens but Adrain Peterson deserves this award.

  14. davekezer says: Dec 20, 2012 6:28 PM

    J.J. Watt is a supreme beast. Insane skills, makes everyone around him instantly better, good attitude, works hard, pretty much worked his tail off to get where he is today. He deserves to be MVP for sure.

  15. thapurrinlion says: Dec 20, 2012 6:50 PM

    What Watt has done so far this season is unprecedented and with two games left to play. He has been more dominant than Reggie White or Lawrence Taylor in a single season. Aldon Smith and Von Miller have also been good this season but what Watt has done is simply put up the best performance ever by a defensive player and if that doesn’t warrant MVP then I think people will start looking at it like the Heisman if they don’t do so already.

  16. shootscuz says: Dec 20, 2012 6:59 PM

    Watt should get DPOY, Petterson should get MVP, and Payton comeback player of the year.
    On a side note I think they should track how many holding penalties a player creates. I don’t know about Watt because I don’t watch all their games, but Von creates so many holding penalties.

  17. djaehne says: Dec 20, 2012 7:02 PM

    Oh this award goes to Peyton Manning’s surgeon.

  18. beedubyatoo says: Dec 20, 2012 7:29 PM

    Watt is a Cheesehead. Enough said. That’s a source of pride for the rest of us Cheeseheads.

  19. vtpete11456 says: Dec 20, 2012 7:31 PM

    It is all fine as long as Brady is the Super Bowl MVP

  20. shootscuz says: Dec 20, 2012 8:03 PM

    If Texans fans were going to lose either JJ Watt or Schaub for the playoffs who would they choose? I would say they need Schaub more than Watt in the playoffs. That’s why he is not MVP of the league. Vikings fans would pick Peterson over Ponder and Broncos fans would pick Manning over Miller. You cant be the most valuable player in the league if your not the most valuable player on your team.

  21. themagicfanguy says: Dec 20, 2012 8:49 PM

    @thapurrin Just stop. Watt has been fantastic, but to say he’s been better than LT or The Minister makes you sound foolish. Watt has much more support behind him than White or LT ever had. You also forget that teams attempt twice as many passes these days, which means twice as many drop backs for Watt to try and wreak havoc on. Reggie could demolish a triple team and get great numbers against a team that barely passed the ball. You must be a youngster, otherwise you would know better.

  22. htfan says: Dec 20, 2012 8:49 PM

    So the qb gets credit for being involved in every offensive snap bjt Jj doesnt get credit for being involved in virtually every defensive snap. Watch a Texans game..he rarely comes out.

    I can see an argument for AP but manning and miller, though they have been good, arent in the same category this year.

    I hope AP gets comeback player and Watt gets MVP

  23. oaktown49er says: Dec 20, 2012 8:57 PM

    I’m a 49er fan and I love Aldon Smith, but I think Watt deserves DPOY. However, a defensive player getting MVP is hard to imagine, as good as Watt has been.

  24. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Dec 20, 2012 9:10 PM

    Watt gets DPOY and if Minn. makes the playoffs then AD gets MVP if they don’t make the playoffs Manning will get it. You can’t get MVP if you don’t make the playoffs in my opinion.

  25. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Dec 20, 2012 9:15 PM

    htfan says:
    Dec 20, 2012 8:49 PM
    So the qb gets credit for being involved in every offensive snap bjt Jj doesnt get credit for being involved in virtually every defensive snap. Watch a Texans game..he rarely comes out.

    I can see an argument for AP but manning and miller, though they have been good, arent in the same category this year.

    I hope AP gets comeback player and Watt gets MVP
    ——–
    Watt is in on every play but does not affect every play. A QB touches the ball on every play. If you can’t see what Manning has done for the Bronco off. this year then you don’t watch. Miller has no chance at MVP and Watt should get DPOY over him unless he blows up in the next 2 games.

  26. billhicks666 says: Dec 20, 2012 9:26 PM

    themagicfanguy says:

    “@thapurrin Just stop. Watt has been fantastic, but to say he’s been better than LT or The Minister makes you sound foolish. Watt has much more support behind him than White or LT ever had.”

    The only one who sounds foolish is you. Watt has been better this season than, or at least as good as, LT or Reggie White had been in any single season. And that last part, saying Watt has more support, is just a straight-up lie. So not only are you foolish, you’re a liar.

  27. jollyjoker2 says: Dec 20, 2012 9:36 PM

    All this guy is interested in is rushing the qb. When AP runs by him about 20 times this weekend for 140 yards, we will know who the MVP is.

  28. mulehead70 says: Dec 20, 2012 9:46 PM

    Don’t bang the drum, Antonio. What we need is MORE COWBELL!!

  29. edwinmoses says: Dec 20, 2012 9:56 PM

    kattykathy says: Dec 20, 2012 6:17 PM

    Watt absolutely deserves MVP

    Peterson should get Comeback award
    ———————————————————————–
    So in your world Peyton Manning get’s nothing? Definitely a woman’s point of view.

  30. dg0122 says: Dec 20, 2012 10:05 PM

    Smith and Miller are both having great years but they dont play the run as well as Watt. They also dont have as many tipped passes as Watt, several of which have been picked and some run back for TDs. Watt’s impact from an interior DL position is astounding. He should definitely be Defensive POY and should be MVP but I doubt he will get it.
    Peterson is having a remarkable season, but he didnt miss an entire year and thought to have been done for good like Manning…

  31. texansfan2884 says: Dec 20, 2012 10:11 PM

    My opinion on awards is:
    MVP- AP & BRADY
    OPOY- AP & BRADY
    DPOY- WATT & ALDON SMITH (if he breaks sack record)
    Comeback POY- AP & MANNING
    ROY- RG3 & LUCK
    I know most of these will only have one recipient but, all or most of these awards should be shared this year in my opinion.

  32. dg0122 says: Dec 20, 2012 10:13 PM

    oh and Watt said he still wears his elbow brace so his Grandma can spot him easier when she’s watching the game!

  33. malvaren18 says: Dec 21, 2012 10:00 AM

    Are you kidding me where was he during the New England game, I dont remember hearing about him at all, you called that MVP.

  34. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 21, 2012 10:45 AM

    malvaren18 says:
    Dec 21, 2012 10:00 AM
    Are you kidding me where was he during the New England game, I dont remember hearing about him at all, you called that MVP.

    ========================

    He hit Brady 5 times and forced a fumble by running down an RB from behind…

  35. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 21, 2012 12:21 PM

    I think Watt deserves MVP as much as Manning or Brady. Peterson would be a runaway favorite if the Vikes had won the NFC North, but teetering on the edge of the playoffs with two division winners left on the schedule, I can’t in good conscience give a Most Valuable Player award to a player that didn’t lead their team to the playoffs.

  36. malvaren18 says: Dec 21, 2012 4:33 PM

    He hit Brady I don’t remember Watt getting any Sacks in the Patriots game and what was the final score anyways?

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