Landon Collins Puts Himself In Defensive Player Of The Year Conversation

Giants
Giants

Landon Collins had a historic season that puts him in consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The second-year safety out of the University of Alabama became the only player in NFL history to record at least 100 tackles, two sacks, five interceptions, and 12 pass deflections. Collins finished 2016 with 125 tackles, four sacks, five interceptions, 13 pass deflections, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown.

His 125 tackles are a franchise record for the safety position. Collins led all NFL safeties in sacks, tied for first in passes defended, and second in interceptions and tackles. Collins had 112 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and nine pass deflections in his rookie season. He was NFC Defensive Player of the Month in December.

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Collins faces an uphill battle for Defensive Player of the Year. Two linebackers and a defensive end have won five consecutive Defensive Player of the Year honors. The last defensive backs to win it are the recently retired Charles Woodson and Troy Polamalu.

Woodson won the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year as a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers. He finished the season with 74 tackles, two sacks, nine interceptions, 18 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and three touchdowns.

Woodson joined Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders and former kicker Mike Vanderjagt as the only other players in NFL history named Player of the Month three times in the same season.

Polamalu won his NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2010 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He recorded 63 tackles, a sack, seven interceptions, 11 pass deflections, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown. Polamalu won the award despite missing two games.

Collins became the first safety to win consecutive Defensive Player of the Week Awards since Polamalu did it in 2010.

The only Giants named Defensive Player of the Year are a pair of Hall of Famers: Lawrence Taylor in 1981, 1982, and 1986 and Michael Strahan in 2001. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul finished fourth in the voting in 2011.

The winner will be announced at the NFL Honors ceremony at Wortham Theater in Houston on Feb. 4.

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