Steelers star T.J. Watt draws high praise from Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes ahead of playoff clash
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt has had quite a special season this year, and he is now set for the most potent test of his campaign against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC wild-card round.
Watt orchestrated a campaign that sure is good enough to earn him NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time in his career, as he led the league in both sacks (22.5) and tackles for loss (21).
The fifth-year pass rusher is now set to meet a Chiefs offensive line that allowed 28 sacks on the year, which tied the unit with the New England Patriots for the third-fewest in regular season play.
Mahomes sees that not only can Watt be an impact player in this upcoming playoff clash, but several other notable players in the Steelers front seven have what it takes to do just that as well, which he explained further during a press conference ahead of the game.
“He’s a special player,” Mahomes said. “I mean I don’t know what runs in that family, but they have great football players over there… T.J. is not only special, but as far as the way he can bend to get to the quarterback, but the effort he plays with.
“I mean they have a lot of guys that play hard the entire game and they continuously play and go and go. So, for me, it’s about whenever I do make those extended long plays, not making a bad play happen. Those guys will kind of be around me the whole time following the play so when a scramble and step up in the pocket when the stuffs not there, I have to make sure I account for them because they’re not going to give up on the play.”
When the Steelers met the Chiefs in the regular season last month, Pittsburgh wound up recording two sacks and three quarterback hits against Mahomes. Watt was held to a mere one total tackle in the contest, as he played in the game with a cracked ribs injury.
The Steelers are aiming to pull off what would arguably be the biggest upset result of the wild-card weekend.