I’m not bold enough to make a prediction about the Ravens success in January (or February), but I do have enough courage to bet that Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs will win the AFC Defensive Player of the Year award. We already know that T-Sizzle has cemented his legacy as one of the Ravens greats, but after his three sack effort on Thanksgiving I am a believer that he could be the league’s best defensive player when the season concludes.
Suggs won his second AFC defensive player of the week honor of the 2011 season following his effort in Baltimore’s 16-6 win over the 49ers. He led the Ravens in their dominant nine sack performance and racked up his 49th tackle of the season. T-Sizzle has also forced three fumbles and caught two interceptions this year.
In awards voting, statistics aren’t always the most important part of a candidate’s chances. Troy Polamalu was scorched in the Super Bowl, but his flowing mane helped earn him last year’s honor. Suggs’ multiple battles with Skip Bayless, creation of Ball So Hard University and overall charisma will certainly play a part in the Associated Press’ decision. Whether that’s right or wrong.
If Suggs does earn the honor, it will be the third time a Ravens player has won it and the first time since Ed Reed in 2004. The Defensive Player of the Year has come from the league’s top five defenses eight of the last nine years, so his fate is also in the hands of the other ten guys on defense.