KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year as part of the annual NFL 101 Awards.
Watt led the league with 20.5 sacks, broke up 16 passes and forced four fumbles.
Houston finished the year 12-4 and won the AFC South division. They were eliminated from the AFC playoffs in the Divisional round Sunday by the New England Patriots.
Watt is a first-time 101 Award winner and Pro Bowl selection. He has started every game for the Texans after being drafted with the 11th overall pick in 2011.
A national media committee comprised of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters, who cover the NFL, selected the Watt and other winners in each award category in a nationwide vote at the conclusion of the regular season.
The 2012 season award winners will be presented with trophies at the 43rd Annual NFL 101 Awards gala March 2, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City.
Event proceeds will be directed to the Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation. The Kansas City Chiefs and TMC are working together to provide wellness education and promote healthier living for the people of Kansas City.
Here is a list of the other award winners:
- San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith, NFC Defensive Player of the Year
- Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, AFC Offensive Player of the Year
- Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, NFC Offensive Player of the Year
- Seattle coach Pete Carroll, NFC Coach of the Year
- Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians, co-winners of the AFC Coach of the Year