ESPN Staff WriterPreviously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman.
ESPN Staff WriterJake Trotter covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN. He joined ESPN in 2011 covering college football. Before that, he worked at The Oklahoman, Austin American-Statesman and Middletown (Ohio) Journal newspapers. You can follow him on Twitter @Jake_Trotter.Nov 18, 2023, 06:15 AM ETOpen Extended Reactions
PITTSBURGH — Defense wins championships. That’s a universally accepted adage in every level of football.
But defensive players winning the NFL’s coveted Most Valuable Player award? Not so much.
Only two defensive players have won the leaguewide MVP award, an honor decided by a panel of 50 national media members selected by The Associated Press that includes writers, broadcasters, former players and coaches. On Sunday, the rematch between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns will feature two game-changing defensive players in T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett, who’ve been floated in midseason MVP discussions.
Garrett and Watt are first and second in sacks this season, Garrett is tied with Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter atop the list with 11 and Watt is just behind them with 10.5. They are also tied for second with 20