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Marvez’s Ballot - NFL Defensive Player of the Year

1. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans

If he breaks the NFL sack record, I may even consider voting Watt as the NFL’s first defensive MVP since Lawrence Taylor in 1986. Watt is making the kind of impact that is unheard of from a 3-4 end, especially when it comes to pass defense. No NFL player had ever recorded 15 sacks and 15 passes defensed in one season before. Watt already has 19.5 and 15 respectively with two games left. Oh yeah — he also leads Houston in tackles with 74. Now we know why the Texans were willing to let Mario Williams walk away in free agency. They already had the better defensive end on the roster.

2. Aldon Smith, San Francisco

It's close between Smith and Denver’s Von Miller, a fellow member of the 2011 draft class who has logged 16 sacks. Smith has 19.5 courtesy of a 5.5-sack effort in Week 11 against Chicago. That gives him a legitimate shot at breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5. Smith also has gotten better against the run in his first season as a full-time NFL starter. - Alex Marvez (AP Photos: Dave Einsel/Matt York)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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