Watt wasn’t practicing while working on his deal, so he only had a couple of practices before taking on the Bills. There may be something to say for the less is more approach to on-field preparations because he had two sacks and a forced fumble while drawing several holding penalties in the 23-16 victory.
After the game, Watt said, via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that he felt “fresh” heading into the game and his outing offered evidence of why his teammates were pushing for him to get his new deal in time for the opener. His teammate Cam Heyward told PFT that players spoke up because “we want him here long haul and we understand that he’s very vital to our team” and that Watt’s presence was a significant factor in pushing the team to victory.
“Huge. T.J. is a game wrecker and when we get him out there for us we’re very lucky,” Heyward said.
Watt’s going to be around the Steelers for many years to come and Sunday’s outing likely left a lot of people in the organization feeling the same way as Heyward.