It has been a while since the New York Giants have had a player in the running for Defensive Player of The Year.
Last time it was Jason Pierre-Paul, who in his own second year proved to be an almost unstoppable force as a pass rusher and a force in run defense as well. JPP rarely came off the field that year, as well as playing special teams as well as defense. He ultimately came away fourth in the voting that year, something of a snub considering how few pass rushers can get 16.5 sacks while also racking up 80+ tackles, or play the sheer volume of snaps JPP did (more than 1,000 total).
This year the Giants have another second year player in position to get consideration as the defensive player of the year, safety Landon Collins.
For most of the year there has been a growing chorus among Giants fans that Collins should be the defensive player of the year, but will he get the award?
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell doesn’t think so.
Collins, who had stuffed the stat sheet all season, had just one fumble recovery over the final month of the year, along with a sack and two quarterback knockdowns that he registered Sunday. Donald had six quarterback knockdowns over the last four games but just two sacks and two tackles for loss.
Over the last five years the award has belonged to the front seven, and specifically J.J. Watt. But defensive backs won the award in three of the four years before that. How does Landon Collins compare?
- 2007 DPOY - Bob Sanders (S, Indianapolis Colts) - 15 games - 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 6 passes defensed, 2 interceptions
- 2009 DPOY - Charles Woodson (CB, Green Bay Packers) - 16 games - 74 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 18 passes defensed, 9 interceptions, 3 TDs
- 2010 DPOY - Troy Polomalu (S, Pittsburgh Steelers) - 14 games - 63 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 11 passes defensed, 7 interceptions, 1 TD
Landon Collins (2016 season) - 16 games - 125 total tackles, 4.0 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 13 passes defensed, 5 interceptions, 1 TD.
Landon Collins ended the season as the only player in NFL history to have 100+ solo tackles, 2+ sacks, 5+ INTs & 12+ PDs. (via @pfref) #DPOY— Giants Daily (@NYGDaily) January 2, 2017
The stat that doesn’t show up on Collins’ stat sheet might be the most impressive: He has only missed five snaps all year.
While players like Vic Beasley, Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, and Von Miller can impact the game as edge rushers and put up impressive sack totals, I’m going to go ahead and disagree with Barnwell.
While those guys can stuff the stat sheet, no other defensive player has impacted every single facet of defensive football, from run defense, to the pass rush, to coverage, to generating turnovers, the way Collins has.
And that’s why he is my DPOY.