TJ Watt vs Aaron Donald


Brandon Unger

An illustration of the Defensive Player of the Year trophy.

Brandon Unger, Staffer

This year’s defensive player of the year awards finalists are TJ Watt and Aaron Donald. Watt is a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Donald is a Defensive Tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. Even though they play different positions their stats are still comparable.

The stat comparison between Watt and Donald is close. This season,  Donald played 17 games compared to Watt’s 15 games. But in those 15 games Watt accumulated 22.5 sacks and Donald got 13 sacks. Watt also had 7 pass deflections and Donald had 4. Watt has 48 tackles on the season compared to Aarons 38. The one stat that Donald lead in was assisted tackles where he had 46 and Watt had 16 assisted tackles.   

Both of these players are finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year race. In the stat race, Watt leads Donald in most stats. But some people make the argument that Donald faces more double teams or that they play different positions. But most of the time the winner is decided by statistics. In my opinion, I think that Watt deserves Defensive Player of the Year Award. He leads Donald in a majority of stats and he has less defensive weapons on his team. Making his success stand out even more than Donald’s in a large way as the Rams defense that Donald is a part of is one of the more dominant defenses in the NFL year after year forcing offenses to take their focus away from Donald more often than they do to Watt.