It has been exactly 10 years since an NFL cornerback was awarded Defensive Player of the Year. In 2009, Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson took home the honor with his league-leading nine interceptions, four forced fumbles, and three pick-6 touchdowns.
After safety Troy Polamalu won the award the following year, defensive backs have been shut out from Defensive Player of the Year consideration since.
But that could all change this season.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been the top defensive player in the NFL for much of the season, limiting opposing passers to just a 32.6 passer rating while recording six interceptions.
With Defensive Player of the Year voting to be held the night before the Super Bowl, there’s still some football left to be played before the winner is finalized. But with odds released by Odds Shark via BetOnline on Wednesday, Patriots fans and Gilmore are going to like his chances at taking home the award and ending the drought for cornerbacks.
Here are the latest odds:
Has Gilly Locked it Up?
The Patriots secondary has been all-around stellar this season, though Gilmore has especially stood out. Gilmore has consistently limited the opponents’ top receivers this season, allowing just 24 completions and no touchdowns.
He also has 14 passes defended on the year and six picks, two returned for touchdowns. And it’s crazy to think that upon his arrival in New England in 2017, Gilmore was thought of as one of the biggest busts in the Belichick era and was inactive for three straight games that season.
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His athleticism speaks for itself and his ability to consistently make plays against some of the top receivers in the league has become something of note for awards voters. Even quarterback Tom Brady, regarded as one of the best players ever in the NFL, thinks Gilmore is worthy of the award. Speaking on WEEI earlier this week, here’s what Brady had to say:
“He’s doing such a great job. He’s covering the best players and consistently making plays on the ball, scoring, and he’s done everything you’d ask for a defensive player of the year to do. His impacts on the game are just huge, so it’s, he’s, you can’t say enough good things about Steph. And not just the things you guys see in the games but how he performs in practice and I think the attitude he takes in practice, his leadership, his toughness. Not only does he play the pass, but he’s great in the run game, too. He’s one of the great corners that will go down to ever play this game.”
A 3-Peat for Donald?
Though the Los Angeles Rams haven’t had a strong year overall, Donald has put up big numbers once again. Donald has recorded 43 tackles, including 19 for a loss, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a safety.
Considering he is routinely double-teamed in protection, for Donald to still put up those kinds of numbers as a defensive tackle is really something special. If he were to win, and his odds aren’t that far off, it would be his third straight honor.
If he wins, he would join J.J. Watt and Lawrence Taylor as the only other NFL players to win the award thrice and the only one to do it three straight seasons.