J.J. Watt: MVP has always been an offensive award

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J.J. Watt would like to see some defensive players get some love from MVP voters.

Responding to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times making the case for Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald being named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, Watt wrote on Twitter that he thinks the voters are always going to select someone who plays offense.

See 2014,” Watt wrote. “It’s always been an offensive award. (or 2012).”

In 2014, Watt got 13 out of 50 MVP votes, finishing a distant second to Aaron Rodgers in MVP voting. That’s the closest any defensive player has come to winning the Associated Press league MVP award since 1986, when Lawrence Taylor won it.

The fact that Taylor won MVP shows that it hasn’t “always” been an offensive award, as Watt said. Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page also won the award in 1971, and Washington kicker Mark Moseley won it in 1982. But those are the only defensive or special teams players to win the award in its 61-year history.

In today’s NFL, it’s hard to picture anyone other than a quarterback winning MVP. Even great ones like Watt and Donald.

34 responses to “J.J. Watt: MVP has always been an offensive award

  1. It would be rare but I can picture it. The Bears are 12-4 and their 4 losses came by a combined total of 14 points. If a team like that goes 16-0 or 15-1, where their best player is clearly clearly on defense, a guy like Mack could get MVP. If the Rams are 16-0, where their QB and RB are also great, I think it stays with offense.

  2. MVP IS THE MOST RIDICULOUSLY OVERRATED AWARD : Really : it’s a team sport – I understand having the award but people make way to much out of it : great players play great usually when they need too….. the best reward for that is team success

  3. They should make the offensive player of the year, the Offensive MVP and defensive player of the year, the Defensive MVP and get rid of the regular MVP. Football is the only major sport where there are separate players for offense and defense, unlike baseball, basketball and hockey, where every player plays both offense and defense (at least pretends to in the NBA).

  4. I agree with the other comments about needing to separate the MVP awards by offense/defense.

    It is unfortunate that offensive players almost always walk away with the award. There have been some monster defensive seasons by some great players that have been ignored because the league migrated towards players with Tecmo Bowl stats. Watt, McDonald and many others teams would be nowhere without their impact. The fact that Watson and Goff aren’t even in the respective MVP conversations and their defensive stars are says a lot.

  5. MVP to me sounds like a player who is most needed, that guy that is leaned on most, who is critical to his teams success, without whom they would be much less competable. Which sounds more valuable, a guy that scores 1 sac per game, or the guy that scores 4 touchdowns per game?

  6. Quarterbacks can’t throw the ball with comfort without a good offensive line, they can’t catch their own passes, and they can’t rush for over 100 yards each game. It’s more difficult for WRs to rack up those receptions and receiving yards without an accurate passer. Running backs will more often than not struggle without efficient blockers. Kickers can’t make field-goals without decent kick holders. DBs will usually struggle all over the field if there’s no pass rush from defensive linemen. The list goes on and on. The quarterback is only recognized as the Most Valuable Player because it’s the most important position on the team.

  7. Perhaps I’m being naive or flat out wrong as I never played organized football but isn’t playing the Quarterback position like a million times more complicated and difficult than a D-lineman? Perhaps a Mike linebacker with more responsibilities but what is Watt asked to do really? Rush the passer, be cognizant of the run, seal the edge. A QB has to know 4-5 routes of other players each down. It’s like apples and oranges to me. QB wins every time. Just create a defensive one like others are saying.

  8. Until an LB or other D-guy can get as many turnovers as a QB can throw TDs, combined with captaining that same D as dominantly as the best QB, and being so good the whole team is effectively built around them and not the QB, the league MVP is almost always really going to be a QB. That’s the reality of the game. They only give it other positions just to shut up complainers that those other positions are somehow ignored/overlooked. Would you rather have JJ Watt or a Patrick Mahomes (or a Brees or Brady etc)? Case closed.

  9. It’s more than obvious who the MVP is this year. Also, there aren’t ANY Lawrence Taylor’s out there.

  10. all the rules changes that have geared the game towards the offense should be accounted for … if a defensive guy can make that big of an impact in this day and age, he deserves it.

  11. J.J. should worry about wins, not personal awards. I was at that Eagles Texans game and he was visibly rattled by the fans. He’s a really good player with a fragile ego. It’s a weakness that surfaces on and off the field.

  12. No defensive player is ever wining it in this era of football. When LT and Page won it, defenses were still allowed to hit (and even then they barely won the award). I was 12 in 82 so I dont remember the season that well, but I still cant believe they gave the award to a kicker.

  13. J.J. Watt: MVP has always been an offensive award…sadly, so true. Yet, strangely, they never make rule changes to aid the defense, only the offense. Wonder why that is? Just asking…

  14. Donald is going to be the “chicken exit” for the voters this year so they don’t have to snub Brees and give it to the clear winner, Mahomes.

  15. He’s not wrong. It’s an offense driven award. Why? Voter’s love offensive numbers and, in my belief, they don’t feel defenders make as much of an impact on the game.

    It’s a shame those on defense don’t get the love they deserve.

    However, this statement “The fact that Taylor won MVP shows that it hasn’t “always” been an offensive award, as Watt said.”

    Three non offensive players have won the award during it’s 61 year history. 58 of 61 is just about as close as you’re gonna get to ‘always’.

  16. Tom Brady could be the 25th best an in the league, and he would still be in the top 3 in voting because of the media



    I agree with everyone that defensive players need more recognition (hell, even running backs deserve more recognition and they’re the only other position that has half a shot at winning the award), but to say that it’s overrated is a stretch. The MVP has only ever been awarded 61 times, and a few guys (like Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady) have won it several times. I mean, between three guys (again, the aforementioned QB trio) it has been given 11 times. Only about 50 guys have ever won one, so we shouldn’t slight MVP winners as irrelevant, even if the guy who wins it may not be the most deserving of all the players that could be considered. It’s a big achievement, even if we also need to keep in mind the others who could have won (like Brees, who somehow will not have any after this year, possibly ever depending on when he retires, or any non quarterbacks like Watt or Donald).

  18. And J.J. has always been a self-promoting “Me Guy”. Who cares about MVP awards? I always appreciate when 3 time MVP reminds us that football is a team game and that these individual trophies are really team awards. I hope that J.J. doesn’t have an Antonio Brown hissy fit about not being selected. Actually, I hope he does…

  19. “We are talking about L.T.” This from a fan beaten down by the Patriots & one of the men that coached L.T. Football is no longer allowed to be played at a violent level. That is why we miss the game.

  20. Which is why I think there should be a QB of the award for the best QB. When a guy like Donald resets the bar for sacks by a DT he really would improve any team; Pat’s, Cheifs, Saints all would be better with him on their teams.

  21. MVP award is a joke. I’m a Packer Backer, but JJ should have won over Aaron. The year JJ had was better than any defensive player in recent memory. He not only owned everyone when he was on defense, but also played an offensive roll. In my opinion JJ was robbed.

  22. phillipashe says:
    January 4, 2019 at 8:58 am
    MVP award is a joke. I’m a Packer Backer, but JJ should have won over Aaron. The year JJ had was better than any defensive player in recent memory. He not only owned everyone when he was on defense, but also played an offensive roll. In my opinion JJ was robbed.

    I’m also a Packer fan and I completely agree.

  23. How many times a game do you touch the football JJ? How many times are you involved in a score JJ? How many times during a game do you determine the outcome of a game JJ? There’s a reason an NFL QB is the highest pain position in the NFL JJ, it’s because it’s the most important position in football. That’s why a QB will win the MVP 99.9% of the time.

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