It’s not easy for a player whose team has no hope of making the playoffs to win any of the NFL’s postseason awards. But here’s hoping the voters who have a say in the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award don’t take their eyes off Vikings defensive end Jared Allen as the season wears on.
As a reminder of how good a season Allen is having, let’s note that Allen has been named the NFC defensive player of the month for October.
Allen had eight sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 24 tackles in October. He currently leads the league with 12.5 sacks, and he has at least half a sack in every game this season.
A handful of players have won the Defensive Player of the Year award on teams that missed the playoffs, including Jason Taylor in 2006 and Michael Strahan in 2001. But there’s only been one player who won the award on a team as bad as this year’s Vikings are shaping up to be: Cortez Kennedy, who won the award for his 14-sack season in 1992, when the Seahawks went 2-14.
That year, the voters wisely looked past the Seahawks’ record and recognized Kennedy’s individual dominance. Allen will have to hope the voters can do the same this year.