by Matt Bowen
January 12, 02010
Earlier today, Packers cornerback Charles Woodson was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. He got my vote on the Pro Football Writers Association ballot, and I’m wondering what readers of the National Football Post think.
Does he get your vote? If not, tell me why I was wrong to vote for Woodson as the best the NFL has to offer when it comes to the top player on the defensive side of the football.
I understand a case can be made for the Jets’ Darrelle Revis — who has shut down just about every big-time receiver in the NFL this season. In fact, he just showed us that Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco couldn’t stand up to him — for two straight weeks. He took care of Randy Moss (twice), Steve Smith, Terrell Owens (again, twice) and any other wide receiver who tells us how great they are via Twitter and by what they can do when Revis isn’t lined up across from them.
But even in saying that, I voted for Woodson because of what the award means. It isn’t based on shutting down guys; it’s based on being the best defensive player at the top level.
Woodson was that, and I can’t question it. Sure, I thought about Revis before I made my final vote, but, I couldn’t get over the fact that Woodson was not only the biggest playmaker for one of the league’s top defenses, but that he was also so versatile.
Woodson can cover, he can blitz, he can tackle, and he gets his hands on the football better than anyone in the NFL today. Nine picks, two sacks, four forced fumbles and what I consider a big number — three defensive touchdowns.
Those are numbers that have to draw your attention.
But am I just being a Packer homer? No, not when the production is there. And I’ll be the first to admit that Woodson lost some battles Sunday when he was matched up against the top WR in the NFL — Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald — as did the entire defense in a game where the offensive game plan exposed some Packers issues on defense.
He didn’t win as many matchups as I thought he would, but let’s not discount what he did this season, because the numbers he posted are good enough to grab hold of the DPOY award.
And I can’t get my vote back anyway. It’s in, and as for Revis -- the guy I would have voted for next – he’s still playing.
He’ll have a chance to prove me wrong against Philip Rivers and the Chargers this weekend.
Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41