Earlier today the AP announced that Charles Woodson is its NFL Defensive Player of the year. Seems like an alright choice; after all, Woodson had one of his best all-around seasons for the second rated defense in the NFL. He had 63 tackles, 27 passes defended, eight interceptions, 3 touchdowns, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 2 sacks. Truly an astonishing stat line, but if you look into the numbers a bit it would indicate that Woodson was thrown at a good amount as opposed to other shut down corners, namely Darrelle Revis of the Jets. My one question to the 28 voters who voted for Woodson would be this: If you could have one corner for 60 minutes on your team who would it be? If they don’t answer Darrelle Revis they are lying. Which would lead me to conclude that he is the best in football yet somehow not the best of the year?
What Revis did this season is unparalleled when it comes to cornerbacks; he held the following wide receivers under 35 yards this season: Andre Johnson, Marques Colston, Roddie White, Reggie Wayne, Steve Smith, Chad Ochocinco (twice), Randy Moss (twice) and Terrell Owens (twice). The Jets lost defensive nose tackle (and defensive linchpin) Kris Jenkins in October and they still finished with the #1 overall rated defense, mainly due to Revis who took away every opponent’s biggest passing threat week after week. For more perspective I turn to the guys at Profootballfocus.com for this statistic: Revis was thrown at 111 times this season and he allowed 41 catches. That’s a 36.9% success rate if you are the wide receiver. No other corner (including the recently minted Defensive Player of the Year) that was thrown at over 70 times was lower than 49.5%. We’re talking about Pedro Martinez in 1999 level of dominance here with that kind of schism from best to second. Also considering how Revis straight dominated the best in the league and teams just stopped throwing in his direction, he still finished with 6 picks and a touchdown–not too far off from Woodson, who saw a lot more action come his way.
I’m not shocked the voting went this way but I hope those out there (voters and fans) realize how spectacular a season Revis had. We’ve never seen opponents as terrified to throw at a cornerback since Primetime was in his prime. And frankly when the Defensive Player of the Year isn’t remotely in the same discussion as a guy who plays his exact position something is wrong. Kudos to Charles Woodson but Revis is the best defender in the league.