Charles Woodson, Not Darrelle Revis: NFL Defensive POY Went to Wrong Player

Mike GurnisContributor IJanuary 13, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 03:  Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs past Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets in the second quarter at Giants Stadium on January 3, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Yesterday, the Associated Press announced that Charles Woodson was the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

It came as a surprise to many people, including most of Jets nation, that Darrelle Revis did not win the award.

In fact, the vote wasn't even close.  Woodson nailed down 28 of 50 votes, while Revis received only 14 votes.

Now, if you were to look at the stats on paper, it would be very clear that Woodson deserved the award:

•Woodson had nine interceptions to Revis' six.

•Woodson had 74 combined tackles to Revis' 54.

•Woodson had three interceptions returned for touchdowns to Revis' one interception return.

•Woodson had four forced fumbles to Revis' one.

Point is, if you want to go on sheer numbers alone, Woodson does deserve the award.

But this is a unique situation.  Sure, Woodson has all of the sexy statistics that most of the football writers loved when making their decision to vote on the DPOY. But the ones who voted for Woodson...have they not payed attention at all to Darrelle Revis this season?

Forget statistics like interceptions, tackles, and whatnot.  How about we take a look at the statistics of some of the best wide receivers in the game that Revis goes up against week after week?

How about Terrell Owens?  In his two matchups against Revis this season he was held to three catches for 13 yards and three catches for 31 yards, respectively.

What about Randy Moss?  Four catches for 24 yards and five catches for 34 yards while going up against Revis.

Andre Johnson?  He had only 1,569 receiving yards this season.  But you wouldn't have known that was coming the first game of the season, when he was held to four catches for 35 yards while going up against Revis.

Marques Colston? Had over 1,000 receiving yards this season, but against Revis?  Two catches for 33 yards.

Steve Smith (the Carolina Panthers)?  One catch for five yards.

The list just goes on and on.  There are also Roddy White, Reggie Wayne, and Chad Ochocinco, just to name a few of the other great receivers who Revis has shut down this season.

Yes, Charles Woodson had the "sexy" statistics that everyone loves, like interception returns for touchdowns, tackles, etc.

But what Darrelle Revis did this season is unlike anything I've ever seen before.  Every week, he would single handedly take away some team's best receivers and, in most cases, their best offensive weapon. 

When your No. 1 wide receiver is being taken away, in most cases it's not a big deal; most of the time when your No. 1 is being double covered, there's someone else open to throw to.

But not with Revis.  Darrelle Revis is the one cornerback in football who can go single coverage on any receiver and shut them down.

My next point: How are statistics like tackles, forced fumbles, and interceptions supposed to be in Revis' favor when he's doing such a great job of covering his man that quarterbacks refuse to even look in his direction?

How can you make a tackle, force a fumble, or pick a pass off when the ball isn't being thrown in your direction and the receiver you're covering isn't making catches?

Last week in the Jets' playoff game against the Bengals, Carson Palmer, one of the best quarterbacks in the game, at times was not even looking in the direction of Ochocinco/Revis because he was so well covered.

Now what did Ochocinco do against Woodson?  He was held to four catches but for 91 yards.  And he also had a touchdown.

What did Woodson do against Hines Ward?  To sugar coat it for you, he was burned.  Seven catches for 121 yards.

The only receiver this season who had more than 35 yards receiving against Revis was Ted Ginn Jr. of the Dolphins, who had two catches for 57 yards.  Now that is impressive.

In my opinion, the Associated Press gave this award to the wrong player.  What's even worse is that this wasn't even a close vote.  The fact that Woodson had twice the amount of votes that Revis had is an insult to Darrelle Revis and the season he's had. 

If the Associated Press writers made their votes based on the bare bones numbers of tackles, sacks (Darrelle Revis is not a blitzing corner), forced fumbles, and interceptions, then they were not doing their job.

When you vote on something like this, it is important to look at all factors.  When it comes down to a corner versus a corner, it's important because some corners play differently than others.  If you do your research, it's very clear who the better player was this season.

Darrelle Revis is the definition of a shutdown corner, which is a rare breed these days in the NFL.  To not allow more than 35 receiving yards per game, with the exception of one game (the most he allowed was 57 yards), is an impressive feat.  Nobody even sniffed 100 receiving yards against him.

I'd like to know if there's anybody, anybody, in football history who had the season he had.

It's unfortunate that he was overlooked as much as he was.  To the 14 Associated Press writers who voted for Darrelle Revis, I applaud you.

But it disgusts me that only 14 of you made that decision.