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Peter King admits why he voted down T.J. Watt for DPOY

The race for Defensive Player of the Year is as hotly contested as any has been in recent years. Pundits are all using their own forms of verbal gymnastics to justify their picks including longtime NFL writer Peter King.

King explained his reasoning for voting Pittsburgh Steelers EDGE T.J. Watt third on his Defensive Player of the Year ballot and his explanation creates a real slipper slope on a couple of fronts.

First, he uses Pro Football Focus grades. This might be the most polarizing way of judging the best defender in the NFL. But honestly, it isn’t the most questionable. King uses the fact that Garrett played on the best defensive in the league as the rationale for his vote.

If we start handing out individual awards for group effort, we’ve given up. The Steelers are 1-11 without Watt in the lineup. The Steelers defense was decimated by injuries this season and Watt continued to play well regardless. Rewarding a player who can produce while being surrounded by other excellent players doesn’t really doesn’t line up with the spirit of the reward.

Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire