After his NFL debut in Cleveland a year ago, T.J. Watt was honored as the NFL’s rookie of the week. For an encore in his 2018 debut on the same FirstEnergy Stadium field, Watt one-upped himself.
Watt was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced Wednesday morning.
Even after the league later on Wednesday announced a scoring change that subtracted a sack off his bounty, Watt was credited with career highs of three sacks and 11 tackles in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 21-21 tie against the Browns on Sunday. Watt also blocked the potential winning Cleveland field goal in the final seconds of overtime.
No Steelers player had recorded four sacks in a game since 2001; only one player (Chad Brown in 1996) has had more than four sacks in a game for the Steelers since the sack became an official statistic in 1992.
Almost exactly one year earlier, Watt had two sacks and an interception in the first game of his 2017 rookie season.
Watt is the first Steelers linebacker to be named a conference player of the week since Lawrence Timmons in 2010.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.