Last year Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt finished as the runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year voting behind Los Angeles Rams All-Pro Aaron Donald. He also led the league in sacks, recording 15 in 15 games played.
But that was not enough for Madden 22 to rank T.J. Watt as its top edge rusher, giving the nod instead to Cleveland’s Myles Garrett (with a 98 rating), who recorded 12 sacks in 14 games. Watt is also positioned behind Chicago Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack (who received a 96 rating), having accumulated nine sacks in 16 games in 2020.
The latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!
T.J. Watt Tied with J.J. Watt in the Madden 22 Rankings
Meanwhile, T.J. Watt is viewed by Madden 22 as being on par with Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals as well as his older brother, J.J. Watt, all of whom received 94 overall ratings. You may recall that Jones was runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, just ahead of T.J., who finished third in the voting that year. (Jones suffered a torn biceps in Week 5 last season, having recorded one sack before going on injured reserve.) As for 32-year-old J.J. Watt, it’s debatable whether he should be included in the Top 10 at all, as he is clearly on the downside of his career, authoring just five sacks in 2020.
T.J. Received an 86 Rating in Madden 21
Those who choose to look on the bright side will note that Madden boosted T.J. Watt’s overall rating by eight points as compared to this time last year, when he was considered on par with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and now-retired center Maurkice Pouncey, and ranked behind four Steelers teammates, including Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Stephon Tuitt, not to mention David DeCastro, who was Pittsburgh’s highest ranked player in Madden 21.
No doubt Watt will shrug off his Madden 22 rating, as he has much more important things to think about, like helping the Steelers get back to the Super Bowl and playing a pivotal role in attempting to tie a team NFL sack record that was set in the 1980s.
Never mind the fact that he recently got engaged to an aspiring NWSL player, and is also engaged in negotiations with the Steelers on a long-term contract extension, which—if history is any guide—is likely to get signed during the week before the start of the regular season. In 2021, he will also be attempting to equal an individual sack record set by the late Reggie White, which he will achieve if he records 13 sacks this season.
Finally, Pittsburgh will again be attempting to lead the NFL in sacks this year, much like it did in 2020, getting 56 sacks. To do that the Steelers will need to successfully absorb the loss of Bud Dupree, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Part of the solution to losing Dupree comes courtesy of Melvin Ingram III, who signed a one-year contract with the Steelers earlier this month.
Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
• 2 Steelers Added to All-Time NFL Top 100 Player List
• Raiders Sign Former Steelers Punter Corliss Waitman
• Bears Signing Former Steelers, Lions Tight End: Report
• Eagles Sign Former Steelers ‘Hostage’ Steven Nelson
• Titans Make Decision on Ex-Steelers Edge Rusher Bud Dupree