GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - J.J. brought some Wattage to the Pro Bowl with an array of athleticism and hip-shaking shimmying.
Even in a game his team didn’t win, J.J. Watt found a way to steal the show - just like he had all season.
Capping an electrifying season, Watt intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and showed off his dance moves to a sellout crowd at the Pro Bowl Sunday night.
“I just tried to enjoy it; that’s what the Pro Bowl is all about, giving the fans a good show,” Watt said. “Everybody worked so hard to get here, you want to enjoy yourself and play some good ball.”
OK, maybe the good ball was a stretch.
As is the case with most Pro Bowls, the game wasn’t exactly scintillating, filled with shoddy tackling and less-than-full effort from the players.
Team Irvin won it over Watt’s Team Carter team 32-28.
The 6-foot-5, 289-pound defensive end showed off his athleticism with an interception in the second quarter, leaping to swat down Matthew Stafford’s pass, then gathering the deflection. He recovered a fumble in the third quarter, swatted down another pass and defended four passes in the defensively-lacking game.
Watt also put his dance moves on display during a third-quarter timeout, raising his arms in the air and shaking his hips, drawing big cheers from the crowd when it was shown on the video board. He shimmied again during timeout in the fourth quarter, this time drawing Team Carter teammate Marcell Dareus into the mix.
Watt was named the defensive player of the game - his cheers were much louder than for Stafford, the offensive MVP - and closed out the night by posing for a selfie with Team Carter defensive end Robert Quinn.
“Guys are dancing around and having a good time, that’s what it’s all about,” Watt said.
Now his attention turns toward Saturday’s NFL Awards show.
Watt is one of the favorites to win the NFL’s MVP award, though faces long odds, at least historically.
The MVP award has been an almost exclusively-offensive club through the years, handed out to defensive players twice in NFL history: Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971 and New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
The award usually goes to a player from a winning team; the last MVP from a non-playoff team that was Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson in 1973.
Whatever happens, Watt proved his worth this season after becoming the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history with a six-year, $100 million contract.
Watt was the NFL defensive player of the year in 2012 and may have had a better season in 2014, becoming the first player in NFL history to have two 20-sack seasons by tying a career with 20.5. He led the league with five fumble recoveries, was tied for second with four forced fumbles and his sack total was tied for second.
Watt also scored five touchdowns: three on offense and one each on a fumble and interception returns.
Numbers like those ratcheted up the MVP talk, but Watt deflected it, just as he has all season
“I’m sure it’ll be a fun show,” Watt said of the awards shot. “My family will be out, so it will be cool.”
It always seems to be with Watt around.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
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