Pittsburgh Steelers’ Troy Polamalu Named 101 AFC Defensive Player Of The Year

The NFL 101 Awards are given out at the end of every NFL regular season by a voting committee that consists of (you guessed it) 101 writers and broadcasters that specialize in the NFL.

This year, Pittsburgh Steelers’ star strong safety Troy Polamalu was name the AFC Defensive Player Of The Year, while the Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews took home the award for the NFC.

Polamalu has proven once more that he is one of the most electrifying game changers in the NFL this season, most notably stopping a Baltimore Raven’s potential scoring drive that would have sealed the game by sacking quarterback, Joe Flacco, and forcing a fumble that was recovered by outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley. The ensuing drive was, of course, capped off by a touchdown reception by running back Isaac Redman.

That wasn’t the only scoring drive the Samoan Stunner ended this year, another notable play came in the thriller against the Buffalo Bills (no, that’s not a typo, it was really against the Bills). He made a diving interception of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass to come away with the ball within the five yard line.

Then, of course there was his performance in a game against another divisional rival, the Cincinnati Bengals. This game was perhaps his most important performance, or rather – the entire defensive’s most important performance. I say this, because the offense failed to score a touchdown. Polamalu, being the playmaker that he is, decided to play a bit of offense – taking a Carson Palmer pass back for six.

While winning the 101 AFC Defensive Player Of The Year Award, is without a doubt a big honor, the Tasmanian Devil has his eyes set on bigger prizes – the NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Award in particular. This award has a long list of Steelers’ greats that have the hardware in their trophy cases, with outside linebacker James ‘Silverback’ Harrison being the latest.

Even though he missed two games with injuries this season, he performed extremely well in the 14 that he did play, amassing 49 tackles, a sack, seven interceptions, 11 passes defended and forcing one fumble.

Polamalu, and the rest of the Steelers defense look to once again rattle Joe Flacco and contain Ray Rice today, so they can prepare for their next opponent – in the AFC Championship game.

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~ by Steel Hurtin on January 15, 2011.

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