Jason Pierre-Paul Should Win the Defensive Player of the Year Award

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIIDecember 14, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:  Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants celebrates running back a fumble by the Washington Redskins during their game on December 5, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Giants are at the cusp of winning the NFC East, and no other player besides Eli Manning has played a bigger role week in and week out than Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul is such a young and raw talent, yet he continues to show potential greatness with each game that passes. 

The second-year pro should be in the running for the Defensive Player of the Year award as he has made big play after big play for the Giants.

Pierre-Paul helped his case dramatically by having his best game of his career on the biggest stage of the season when he recorded eight tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and the game-winning blocked field goal against Dallas Sunday night. 

The defensive end has played above expectations all season, contributing 12.5 sacks to go along with an impressive 61 tackles and two forced fumbles. These numbers add up to an impressive year for anyone let alone a second-year pro.

Pierre-Paul will have some serious competition for the award with the likes of Jared Allen, DeMarcus Ware and Patrick Willis (among others) having amazing seasons as well.    

Pierre-Paul may have the edge over all of them, however, as he has single-handedly won the Giants' games.

To prove this point, the defensive end could create a highlight tape from the Dallas game alone.

He proved he could tackle running backs in the open field, read weak-side runs and make the tackle all while stripping the ball, sack the quarterback with ease and get his hands in the air to deflect passes and kicks. 

I predict that Pierre-Paul will end the season in the neighborhood of 17 sacks, which is four and a half more over the next three games. Pierre-Paul is already fifth around the league, and those type of numbers will have him stay in that position if not move up a few spots. 

The Giants control their own destiny to the playoffs, and if they do win the division, Jason Pierre-Paul should be considered for the Defensive Player of the Year award.