Aaron Donald has, no doubt, established his dominance in the NFL already. 7x Pro Bowl, 6x All-Pro, elite member of the HOF All-2010s team and 4-time DPOY. While his performance for the first three DPOY awards were nearly unanimous, it’s the 2020 award that has been faced with some backlash.
Aaron Donald is an absolutely incredible player. I love watching him play & he’s headed to the Hall of Fame without question. This has nothing to do with AD personally.
This is me saying what my brother won’t.
TJ played 1 less game and STILL led the NFL in every major category. pic.twitter.com/m1vzrD88WU
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 7, 2021
T.J Watt Stats
The statistics that elite pass-rusher, and T.J. Watt’s brother, J.J. Watt show in this tweet speak the truth. T.J. Watt led the league in tackles, sacks, tackles for a loss, pressures, and all that good stuff. In fact, the only statistic that AD has over Watt? Forced fumbles: 4 to 2.
This aside, if we were to go back to AD’s 2017 season when he won DPOY and compare statistics, T.J. Watt seems to have had a much better 2020 season. Watt has AD beat in total tackles, solo tackles and assists.
In summary, T.J. Watt has had a better defensive season than Aaron Donald in 2017, and the current 2020, and yet it was AD who walked away with the DPOY Honors.
There has been a tremendous amount of backlash on the NFL from folks who believed that the DPOY award was stolen from T.J. Watt. Talks of corruption within the Associated Press, and bias towards certain players, have been picking up as well.
However, we cannot not mention the other side of the story.
Aaron Donald Stats
Aaron Donald was double-teamed a record 70% of all plays throughout the season, which he beat 27% of the time. T.J. Watt on the other hand, only get double-teamed 15% of all plays. The problem is, the statistics that J.J. Watt put up in support of his brother only tell half the story. They ignore the attention that AD gets from the offensive line.
TJ Watt doesn’t get this treatment. No brainer pick. pic.twitter.com/S6EeRdhbI3
— Matt Vazin (@mattvazin) February 7, 2021
Your brother is great but your analysis doesn’t account for equilibrium OL strategies
The true story is that OL’s haven’t caught on to how much of a threat TJ Watt is by doubling him effectively (top-left corner) AD is top-right bc he does it DESPITE being doubled. And edge !=DT pic.twitter.com/gLmHf2280S
— Mark🌹 (@Markd315) February 7, 2021
We just gonna pretend like this doesn’t exist are we? pic.twitter.com/QF1k4Gpn4Z
— Thomas Shelby (@ramsfan1987) February 7, 2021
When you put together Aaron Donald’s statistics with the pressure he receives as a pass-rusher, there’s no reason as to why he’s not AP’s Defensive Player of the Year for 2020.
In saying this, T.J. Watt’s season is nothing to look over. He put up some tremendous numbers, and AD has some competition for next season. Hit the weight room, perhaps train with knives, and T.J. Watt is definitely going to give Aaron Donald a run for his money next season.