Defense is what decides championships. That is why the NFL has the Defensive Player of The Year honor. I made a list of the top ten players on defense who are candidates to win the special award. These ten players have worked hard enough to win the award. In my mindset I think having the best defensive player in the NFL on your team is better then having the Offensive Player of The Year award. Enjoy!
This guy is a beast that no one is even talking about. Yes, I know that the Chiefs have had one of the worst defenses in 2009, but this young man is an outstanding outside linebacker and a bright spot for the Chiefs. If you thought Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens should have won the award last year Terrell Suggs fans, this is the Terrell Suggs of 2009. Tamba Hali has racked up 7.5 sacks going in to week 16. He had 3.0 sacks against one of the leagues best offensive linemen, Ryan Clady of the Denver Broncos. He has earned the right to be know as one of the best outside linebackers in the league. Total stats on the year going into week 16: 57 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 forced safety.
I had to put old Ray Lewis on this list. Ray Lewis is no longer the top inside linebacker in the NFL, but is still one of the top 5 inside linebackers in the league. Ray Lewis is without a doubt the biggest leader on the field in the NFL, pumping up and screaming at his team before games. It is amazing to say that Ray Lewis is still in his prime. He already matched his total tackle numbers from last year with 117, with 2 more games left to go. Total stats on the year going into week 16: 117 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles.
Another player on this list that no one has been talking about to win the award. James Harrison is having his second best year as a pro, behind last year, and no one is talking about him. The 2008 Defensive Player of The Year is not putting up the same numbers he did in 2008, but is still one of the premier defensive players in the game. Total stats on the year going into week 16: 71 tackles, 10.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles.
Jon Beason has simply earned the right to be considered the second best inside linebacker in the NFL. He has racked up stellar numbers as a tackle machine, having a 16 tackle performance and a 17 tackle performance. Again, another guy no one is talking about. Total stats on the year going into week 16: 121 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3 interceptions, 46 interception return yards.
Imagine if Kansas City still had this guy on their team, having two players in the Defensive Player of The Year discussion. Starting in 2007, when he led the league in sacks, and continuing with his move to the Vikings, Allen has not stopped doing what he does best, sacking the pretty boys. Jared Allen has 43.5 sacks since 2007, which is insane. Total stats on the year going into week 16: 46 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 interception.
Darrelle Revis is the best cornerback in the AFC. It is almost impossible for a receiver to catch a ball if you throw it his way. I was shocked to see that Revis has 30 pass deflections. Along with those stunning deflections, he has 6 interceptions. Expect him to be a major candidate for this award. Total stats on the season going into week 16: 49 tackles, 6 interceptions, 121 interception yards, 1 interception for touchdowns, 30 pass deflections.
When I think of Darren Sharper, all that comes to mind is interception yards. He is an unreal player who has tallied up 355 interceptions yards with 8 interceptions. Sharper is averaging an amazing 44.4 yards a pick. Along with that, he has 3 defensive touchdowns with 99 yards being his longest. It's about a 38% chance that if he picks it off, he is taking it for a touchdown. If I were Sean Payton, I would put this guy at running back! Total stats on the year going into week 16: 64 tackles, 8 interceptions, 0.5 sacks, 355 interception yards, 3 interceptions for touchdowns, 13 pass deflections.
As much as I hate the Broncos, I got to admit they got a man who can play in Elvis Dumervil. At first, I thought that Elvis Dumervil would break the all-time single season sack record, but it is a little to late now. He is a strange athlete for his size. Being only 5 foot 11 inches tall, you would think big offensive tackles could block him, but no. He has tallied up an NFL best 15.0 sacks and looking for more. The only reason why he is not higher on this list is because he does not make many tackles. He only can do one thing and he does it good: get to the quarterback. Total stats on the year going into week 16: 46 tackles, 15.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles.
Ok, first and foremost I would like to point out that Patrick Willis is the best linebacker in the whole entire NFL. Willis is a monster and one of the premier athletes in the NFL. I think he should have won this award his rookie season when he had over 170 tackles as a rookie and could have had 200 this year. He will be number one on this list and other lists in a couple years. Total stats on the year going into week 16: 138 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, 27 interception yards, 1 interceptions for touchdowns.
Charles Woodson is by far the best defensive player in the NFL. He is a cornerback, a linebacker, and a defensive end at the same time. He gets interceptions, makes tackles, and gets sacks. He is what I call a freak athlete. Plus the dude is 33 years old you would think he would be a free agent by now, but instead is playing the best year of football he has ever played in his life. He is also by far the best blitzer of all corners in the NFL. No one can see him and it is almost guaranteed he will get to the quarterback. These are the reasons why he should win defensive player of the year. Totals stats on the year going into week 16: 70 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 8 interceptions, 134 interception yards, 2 interceptions for touchdowns.