- Stephon Gilmore and Jamie Collins have DPOY odds for the first time this year
- Defensive linemen have won the award five years in a row
- The Patriots have the league’s best defense in yards and points allowed
It’s about time the Patriots’ defense received a little respect for its individual efforts, after five weeks of dominance as a collective.
Entering Week 6 (and for the first time this season), New England has two players listed in the NFL DPOY odds.
Linebacker Jamie Collins and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have been given odds on their chances to take home the award.
2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Odds
*Odds taken 10/09/19
There’s no question the Patriots have had the league’s best defense so far, ranking first in yards allowed (238.4/game) and points allowed (6.8/game).
But how much of that is due to the individual efforts of Gilmore and Collins, compared to the success of the whole unit? Are either of them worth taking a chance on?
It may be difficult for Collins, a linebacker, or Gilmore, a cornerback, to win DPOY simply based on the positions they play. The past five winners — and six of the past seven — have been defensive linemen.
The last linebacker to win was Luke Kuechly in 2013, when he amassed four interceptions, 96 solo tackles and 10 tackles for loss. Collins already has three interceptions and six tackles for loss, but he’s on pace to fall well short of that solo tackle mark.
JAMIE COLLINS GETS THE SACK!!!! https://t.co/6ow4db1s0d
— PatriotsNation™ (@PatsNationTM) October 6, 2019
The last cornerback to win was Charles Woodson in 2009, when he had nine interceptions (three of which were returned for touchdowns) to go with four forced fumbles and 66 solo tackles. Gilmore has one interception (which he returned for a touchdown), but no fumbles forced and is on pace to fall somewhere in the range of 40 to 50 solo tackles.
STEPHON GILMORE PICK-6?#MIAvsNE
— PFF (@PFF) September 15, 2019
Heavyweights are Sack-Heavy
Why are defensive linemen so highly regarded for DPOY? It could be because sacks are so exciting, and they’re more valuable than ever before in the NFL’s current pass-dominant game. Take Khalil Mack, for instance.
He is this year’s frontrunner for a reason due to his ability as one of the league’s best pass rushers.
Khalil Mack is a game-wrecker. pic.twitter.com/C2xg5xoejx
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) September 30, 2019
Mack has four forced fumbles, 4.5 sacks and 15 total tackles so far, which are all on pace to improve on his 2018 season and will be difficult to beat.
Others at the top of the list include two-time reigning DPOY winner Aaron Donald (who has just one sack through five games but garnered a league-best 20.5 last year), Myles Garrett (seven sacks) and Shaquil Barrett (nine sacks).
Patriots Have Balanced Attack
Whether it’s fair or not, Collins and Gilmore will likely suffer in DPOY consideration based on all the talent around them. A defense as stout as New England’s doesn’t execute this well with just two guys.
Patriots defensive players ranking top-10 at their position, per PFF:
Devin McCourty- 2nd (S)
Jamie Collins- 2nd (LB)
Jonathan Jones- t-3rd (CB)
Kyle Van Noy- t-4th (EDGE)
Jason McCourty- 6th (CB)
Lawrence Guy- 10th (DI)
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) October 1, 2019
In fact, NFL interception leader Devin McCourty might be a better pick than Gilmore, even though McCourty still doesn’t have DPOY odds.
Following the trend of a defensive linemen winning DPOY is the right way to go, at least at this stage. That means neither Collins nor Gilmore should be on your radar for now.
With how solid New England’s defense has been top to bottom, there’s a good chance Collins and Gilmore don’t gain the opportunity to truly shine in a way that would make them stand out for this award.
Stick with betting Mack or Donald for the time being.