By Ray Hamill
History might suggest he has little chance of winning the award, but how about J.J. Watt for MVP?
After all, who is having a bigger impact for his team this fall?
Certainly names like Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and DeMarco Murray (among others) will all deservedly garner consideration, but I’m not sure any of them mean as much to – or work as hard for – their team as Watt, who causes matchup nightmares for opposing coordinators on any given Sunday.
Sometimes even on offense.
Unfortunately for Watt, however, it likely won’t happen, and in the 56-year history of the award, believe it or not, kickers have been named MVP of the league more times than defensive ends.
Much like the Heisman Trophy in college circles, the NFL’s MVP
tends to favor quarterbacks and running backs, who have combined to claim the award on all but three occasions.
And no defensive player has won in almost 30 years.
In fact, only two defensive players have ever claimed the award – New York’s Lawrence Taylor in 1986 and Alan Page of the famed Minnesota “purple people eaters” defensive line in 1971, who along with 1982 Washington kicker Mark Moseley are the only three non-QB or non-RBs to be ever named MVP.
(Yes a kicker was once named MVP of the NFL.)
Watt also has the distinction of playing for a 4-4 Texans team and the award also tends to go to players on winning, playoff teams.
When it comes to the MVP, the NFL may prefer to showcase it’s offensive stars, but there’s no denying Watt is having an MVP type season.