Outside linebacker T.J. Watt has been named to the 2019 Pro Bowl, taking the place of Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who will miss the game because of an injury.
Watt led the Steelers’ defense and tied for second among all NFL linebackers with 13 sacks in 2018. He was the only NFL player to finish the 2018 regular season with at least 65 total tackles (68), 10 sacks (13) and five defensive forced fumbles (6).
Watt has recorded 20 sacks over the last two seasons, the most ever by a Steelers in their first two seasons in the NFL – and the fourth-most among all NFL linebackers from 2017-18.
“He’s a good player,” said Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. “Physical. He’s athletic. You see him in coverage, he does a nice job in coverage being able to run but is also a high effort guy. Does a good job in pass rush and against the run.”
Watt was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season. The first time came against the Cleveland Browns in the season-opener. Watt was a dominant force, finishing the game with three sacks, a single-game career high, and 11 tackles. Watt also blocked Zane Gonzalez’s 43-yard field goal attempt with just seconds to play.
“When he is not making plays, that is because someone is keying in on him and somebody else is opening up an opportunity for that,” said Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. “You have to pay attention to where he is, but that does not mean lose sight of everybody else.”
Watt duplicated the honor against the Kansas City Chiefs when he had three sacks, eight tackles and a forced fumble, which directly resulted in a Steelers touchdown when L.J. Fort recovered it in the end zone.
“He’s a great player,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. “He was in my draft class, had a great season last year and then he started of this year well too.”
The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 27 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.