FanPost

Defensive Player of the Year Race - Stats for all candidates going into week 17

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As we all know, our very own Robert Quinn is chasing the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Of course, there is some other tough competition. I thought it would be nice to have all of the stats on one page, and I figured I might as well share the information I've collected.

After scouring the internet, I came up with the following six names regularly being mentioned for the award. There are other possible names, but these guys are the league leaders in all relevant categories. The table below shows their 2013 stats through week 16 according to ESPN.com. Remember that there is still 1 game left. Note: Updated to include Mathis' revised stats this week (thanks for the comments below that brought this to my attention).

Name GP COMBINED TACKLES SOLO TACKLES SACK SACK YARDS FORCED FUMBLES FUMBLES RECOVERED FUMBLE YDS INT INT YDS PASSES DEFENDED TD

Robert Quinn

15

52

48

18

142

7

2

33

0

0

1

1

Luke Kuechly

15

146

88

2

15

0

0

0

4

33

7

0

Robert Mathis

15

53

39

17.5

104

8

0

0

0

0

2

0

Vontaze Burfict

15

157

105

3

20

1

2

13

1

12

8

1

Richard Sherman

15

47

37

0

0

0

0

0

8

125

15

1

Paul Posluszny

14

152

115

3

5

1

1

0

2

69

9

1

Here are a few bullet points for each candidate to explain why they could win the award.

Robert Quinn (DE) - St. Louis Rams (7-8)

  • Leads the league in sacks and sack yards. Is second in forced fumbles.
  • Has posted 3 games with 3 sacks and 2 games with 2 sacks. Currently the best pass rusher in the league.

Luke Kuechly (LB) - Carolina Panthers (11-4)

  • The best player on a great defensive team that just locked up a place in the playoffs.
  • Put up 24 tackles (!) in last weeks matchup - 1 shy of the NFL record.

Robert Mathis (LB) - Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

  • He is having a great pass rushing year. He is still getting it done in his 11th year in the NFL and could still grab the sack title with a dominant game next week. He leads the league in forced fumbles.
  • Has posted 1 game with 3 sacks and 4 games with 2 sacks.

Vontaze Burfict (LB) - Cincinnati Bengals (10-5)

  • Leads the league in tackles with 157 averaging 10.5 per game!
  • The young, star player is on an emerging defense on a hot playoff team.

Richard Sherman (CB) - Seattle Seahawks (12-3)

  • Leads the league in interceptions with 8.
  • Has served as a shut down corner on one of the leagues toughest defenses and a Super Bowl favorite.

Paul Posluszny (LB) - Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11)

  • Leads the league in solo tackles with 115. He has missed one game and is actually averaging a league high 10.9 tackles per game.
  • A stand out defensive player on a team having a bad year.

One final comment on team records: Of the last 20 players to receive this award (going back to 1993), only three have played on teams that didn't make the playoffs. Their stats were:

2006 Jason Taylor (Team record 6-10)

  • 62 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, 2 touchdowns

2004 Ed Reed (Team record 9-7)

  • 76 tackles, 2 sacks, 9 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 1 touchdown

2001 Michael Strahan (Team record 7-9)

  • 73 tackles, 22.5 sacks (NFL record), 6 forced fumbles, 1 touchdown

Best of luck next week Robert Quinn. Rams Nation is behind you 100% regardless of where the award goes.

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