NFL Defensive Player of the Year Updated Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 1/5/2012
The NFL’s annual awards figure to be a snoozer this season. I mean, think about it, we pretty much know who will win every major award:
--Your MVP, as good as Drew Brees has been in his record-setting season, is going to be Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who was the huge 11/2 preseason favorite on Bovada. I stupidly argued that wasn’t good value although I admitted he should have been the favorite. I will take some credit that the best value on my board was the Lions’ Matthew Stafford at 40/1 and he will get some second- or third-place votes after becoming the fourth player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards passing – and third this year.
--Your Offensive Player of the Year actually could go to Brees. Some voters may want to reward Brees for his season considering Rodgers is going to be the MVP. But it’s either Brees or Rodgers.
--Your Offensive Rookie of the Year is a lock to be Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, although Bengals QB Andy Dalton would have won it almost any other season. Newton set the NFL record for most rushing TDs by a quarterback and broke Peyton Manning’s rookie record for most passing yards. He will become the second straight No. 1 overall pick to win this award after Sam Bradford. And to think, some thought Newton was a big question mark being drafted that high.
--Your Defensive Rookie of the Year was Denver’s Von Miller for 11 games or so. But then he had thumb surgery and his play fell off, opening the door for the 49ers’ Aldon Smith to take this home. Many thought the Niners reached big-time in taking the former Missouri star at No. 7 overall, but he finished with 14 sacks despite not even being a full-time player. Smith is already one of the best pass-rushers in all of football and only four players had had more sacks than he did.
--Your Coach of the Year is easily the 49ers’ rookie coach Jim Harbaugh in leading San Francisco to the NFC West title, the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and the 49ers’ first winning season and playoff berth since 2002.
That leaves one major award: Defensive Player of the Year. This one is fairly up for grabs, and, thus, Bovada has released updated odds to win. Here is a look at the candidates and a comment on each.
Terrell Suggs, Ravens (10/11): It’s hard to argue against Suggs. He finished the regular season tops in the NFL with seven forced fumbles and fifth with 14 sacks, not to mention picking two passes off. He is the only player this season to have recorded at least five sacks, five passes defensed and five forced fumbles. He is attempting to join Ray Lewis and Ed Reed as Ravens who have won this award.
Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants (5/4): Paul was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month for December/January and finished the season with 16 ½ sacks, making him just the third Giants player (along with Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan) to ever finish a season with more than 16. He also had a crucial field-goal block in the Giants’ first meeting with Dallas. Without that, the G-Men perhaps aren’t in the playoffs.
Jared Allen, Vikings (5/1): Allen finished with 22 sacks, just a half-sack from breaking the NFL single-season record of Michael Strahan. Allen also forced and recovered four fumbles. If the Vikings had been a playoff team, Allen might be the favorite.
Darrelle Revis (7/1): Revis was one of the few bright spots on the Jets this season, but he won’t win this either because the Jets flopped. Plus, he never puts up huge numbers because teams don’t throw his way.
DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys (7/1): Ware had a great season with 19.5 sacks, but all of his numbers were slightly below Allen’s. Plus, the Cowboys flopped.
Charles Woodson, Packers (10/1): The 35-year-old cornerback showed no signs of his age, picking off seven passes this year. But that Green Bay pass defense was otherwise terrible. Woodson won’t add a second DPOY award to his mantle.
I think Suggs wins this award. Allen probably deserves it, but I think the Vikings’ lack of success has him finish second (although if he had broken Strahan’s record he would have won it), with Pierre-Paul third.
The Associated Press and the NFL will announce the annual league awards in a two-hour prime-time special “NFL Honors” to air on NBC on Super Bowl eve, Feb. 4. A nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL votes for the awards.
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