This week the Associated Press handed out their awards for Defensive and Offensive Player of the Year, honoring Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu and New England’s Tom Brady, respectively. Considering the lack of national attention they have received all season long, it should come as no surprise that not a single vote was cast for a Kansas City Chiefs player.
Despite having little help in the pass rush department, Chiefs LB Tamba Hali led the AFC in sacks and was only one behind DeMarcus Ware for the league lead. For his efforts, Hali received zero votes for DPOY. Considering that Polamalu won the award more due to his reputation than what he did on the field this season, it makes sense that a player like Hali that has yet to earn a national reputation was ignored.
Three linebackers — Clay Matthews, James Harrison and Brian Urlacher — accounted for 25 votes, led by the league’s best defender Matthews. That is all the proof you need to know that Hali could end up garnering enough votes down the road to have his name mentioned for the award.
On the other side of the ball, only Jim Brown had a more efficient season on the ground than Jamaal Charles. However, just like Hali, the country is still finding out about just how good the Chiefs young running back is.
No one was beating Brady this season, certainly not a rising star like Charles, but the man that beat out Charles for the rushing title with the help of 97 more carries, Arian Foster, received seven votes which one could argue should have been sent in the direction of Kansas City.
With the Chiefs — hopefully — giving Hali more help on defense and Charles getting more carries due to Thomas Jones slowing down, expect to see both players finally pick up some votes next season.