Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has been named the NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year.
The NFL 101 Awards are voted on at the end of the regular season by a national media committee of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Watt will receive his award at the 43rd Annual NFL 101 Awards gala in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday, March 2.
Watt had an NFL-best 20.5 sacks for 139 yards lost in 2012. He also broke up 16 passes, five of which ended up being intercepted, and forced four fumbles. The Texans finished the year 12-4 and won the AFC South. Watt was selected to the Pro Bowl as a starter for the AFC and was a unanimous first-team All-Pro selection by the Associated Press.
Other NFL 101 Award winners were Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (AFC Offensive Player of the Year), Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (NFC Offensive Player of the Year), San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (NFC Defensive Player of the Year), Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians (co-winners of AFC Coach of the Year) and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (NFC Coach of the Year).
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak was named the NFL 101 AFC Coach of the Year last season after leading the Texans to a 10-6 record and their first-ever AFC South title.