Defensive Player of the Year thoughts

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  • I like Clay Matthews and think he’s very good. He should be in the conversation for DPY no question. I don’t, however, believe he deserves it. His stats definitely support the claim that he was especially disruptive this year on defense (13.5 sacks, 5 passes defensed, 1 defensive TD, 2 forced fumbles). I would have voted for him mid-year. But as the year went on, I think he got passed up by one guy – I’ll get to him in a minute.
  • I disagree with Peter King giving his DPY award to Julius Peppers. Peppers has definitely helped reinvigorate a defense that struggled to live up to its reputation in 2009. They were tougher this year in part because of him and his presence. (His 11 passes defensed in particular, were pretty amazing – Matthews had 5).  But the return of Brian Urlacher and the quality play from Chris Harris at safety also helped resurrect the defense. He was good and while I agree with Peter King that he made the defense better – I also think he was helped by having quality around him (Tillman, Urlacher, Briggs, Harris, etc).
  • The guy I would give the award to is NYG DE Osi Umenyiora. He had one stat in particular that really pushes him to the top for me. While he had an impressive 11.5 sacks, tying him for 7th in the NFL – the stat that is positively hard to believe is this: Umenyiora had 10 forced fumbles. 10 FORCED FUMBLES!!! That is one of the most ridiculous stats I’ve seen in a long time. In fact, after a quick check of the stats, it appears that no defensive player has forced that many fumbles at least in the last 10 years – and very likely going a lot further back than that.  The only other guy who was close this year w/re to forced fumbles, was his teammate Justin Tuck who forced 6 (and quite incredibly, recovered 5…and also had 11.5 sacks). Umenyiora was a brutish force for the Giants and while I frankly can’t be sure how much he affected games in other areas (stopping the run, tackling etc) – I’d give him the nod here because of his sacks and forced fumbles – both game changing plays.
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4 Responses to “Defensive Player of the Year thoughts”

  1. Dave in Tucson Says:

    I’m not saying you’re wrong about Umenyiora, but there are some strikes against him:

    — Looking at the list of people awarede DPOY, it’s almost always (33 out of 39 times) given to someone who makes the playoffs

    — It’s usually (25 of 39 times) given to a team with a top-5 defense

    — I’m not sure how much this matters, but in the Packers/Giants head-to-head matchup (with the playoffs on the line for both teams), Umenyiora was a complete non-factor.

    The Giants were pretty close to the edge on the first two, they had a 10-6 record and missed the playoffs on a tie-breaker, and they had the #7 defense by yards allowed.

    I’ll throw in one more problem for Umenyiora:

    –Fair or not, it seems like forced fumbles is a “stealth stat”: it just doesn’t get the highlight coverage that sacks and interceptions do (especially for fumbles that are recoverd by the offense).

    D∈T

  2. Bill Says:

    Yeah, I will subscribe to your biased opinion over that of Peter King. Yeah. That’s it. You convinced me. LMFAO

  3. awhayes Says:

    Odd comment Bill – are you referring to my huge bias for the NYG? Or my apparent bias against Clay Matthews and the Packers?

  4. 56Coop Says:

    Don;t forget that long haired guy in Pittsburg. That whole defense changes without him.

    One would think that a team that has 2 guys with 11.5 sacks and one with 10 FF and the other with 6 would have a little better record. Oh well, guess that points to the offense.

    CM gets my vote, but then again I AM biased.

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