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PFWA names Texans' JJ Watt, not Chiefs' Justin Houston, defensive player of the year

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Pro Football Writers of America have named Houston Texans' JJ Watt the defensive player of the year. Which means Kansas City Chiefs' Justin Houston did not win the award.

Houston, as you know, led the NFL in sacks with 22, just a half sack shy of Michael Strahan's NFL record. He had a phenomenal season that came at the perfect time (for him ... contract year).

I watched every Chiefs game so I know the impact Houston had on this defense. I did not watch every Texans game so I can't say I fully know Watt's impact but based on the stats and highlights, Watt is deserving. He had 20.5 sacks and 78 tackles on the season while also leading the league in quarterback hits and tackles for loss.

Watt had two sacks early in the Texans Week 17 game which made me worried that he would surpass Houston for the NFL sack title ... until Houston went all Houston and had four sacks in the Chiefs final game.

In any non-JJ Watt year, Houston's a very, very strong candidate for defensive player of the year. I can live with Watt taking this one. It seems like a decent bet this isn't the only year we'll be having this debate.

In other awards, PFWA named Aaron Rodgers the MVP and DeMarco Murray the offensive player of the year.