Why Troy Polamalu is the Real Defensive MVP

Chuck Porter JrContributor IJanuary 20, 2009

James Harrison might have earned his defensive MVP honor in 2008, but Troy Polamalu is arguably the most valuable player on either side of the ball for the 2008 AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers

With all due respect to Harrison and Mr. Roethlisberger, Polamalu's ability to change a game is the single biggest reason why they will be playing for a Lombardi trophy on February 1. 

Steelers fans have become accustomed to the four-time pro bowler's prowess as a finisher, with his phenomenal late-game interception against the Ravens being the norm rather than the exception.  Four times this season, he has effectively ended a half or game by forcing a turnover, showing a knack for making big plays in big situations. 

Trailing by two points late in the fourth, the Ravens hopes rested upon the broad shoulders of rookie quarterback, Joe Flacco.  For many casual viewers and those unfamiliar with the Steelers, the Ravens seemed to be gaining confidence as they drove for the lead. 

Fortunately for the Steelers faithful, Troy Polamalu had Joe Flacco right where he wanted him. 

If he stays healthy, Troy Polamalu will surely go down as one of the greatest to ever play his position. 

His football instinct is unmatched by any player in the game today.  His range allows the rest of the defense to attack, but his instinct is what sets him apart. Troy Polamalu is the true defensive NFL MVP because he is the most dangerous playmaker in the game.