Jared Allen Edged Out For AP Defensive Player Of The Year Honors

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 6, 2012 – 7:00 am

The Sporting News and The NFL 101 Awards got it right by naming Jared Allen the Defensive Player of the Year and the NFC Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, but the Associated Press (AP) didn’t agree.

It was announced on Saturday that Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year. Suggs had 70 tackles, 14.0 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and 2 INTs for a Ravens team that went 12-4 and won the AFC North. Of a possible 50 votes, Suggs received 21 and Allen received 14.

Allen had the best season of his career and the best season we’ve seen from a DE in a long time in 2011. He was named a First-Team All-Pro by the AP, made his 4th Pro Bowl appearance and also earned recognition from a variety of other outlets following a season in which he recorded a Vikings franchise record and near NFL record 22.0 sacks to go along with 4 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 1 INT and 1 safety. There were only 3 games this season in which Allen did not register a sack, and he also had 6 multi-sack games and 3 games with 3+ sacks. He was consistently the Vikings best player all season, and opponents had a hard time stopping him even though it was their #1 priority coming into the game.

I can’t help but think the Ravens team success during the regular season was a big factor in the award going to Suggs. But with all due respect to Suggs, and he deserves a lot of respect for the season he had, the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award should be an award granted to the individual who had the best season. Allen had the best individual season of any defender in the League, and he should’ve been recognized appropriately by the voters.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t. So congratulations go to Suggs for earning the award. He certainly had an impressive campaign and is a worthy honoree. But I’ll stand by the claim that it should’ve gone to Allen.

I guess there’s always next year.

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