Defensive players rarely get consideration for MVP awards, no matter how big of an impact they have on the outcome of the game. So what?! If this game ends up a defensive battle where both quarterbacks throw some interceptions and the winning team doesn’t have a running back or receiver with big numbers, the defenders might finally get their chance.
Here’s my picks for the five most likely defensive players in the Super Bowl to get the MVP award:
1) Ray Lewis
Lets face it, the NFL league office would love this to happen. They love a marketable story line. If the Ravens win a low scoring game this could definitely happen. Imagine Lewis with a stat line of something like 13 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in a sloppy 20-13 win. Roger Goodell is definitely smiling at the idea.
2) Aldon Smith
If there is one player on the 49ers defense who’s likely to get the MVP award, its Aldon (using first names since there are so many Smiths on the 49ers). If the 49ers win a defensive battle and Aldon has 3 sacks to go with 5+ tackles, and he was harassing Flacco all game, then award will be his.
3) Ed Reed
As with Ray Lewis, Reed has to be considered a candidate because of the fact that the NFL loves a marketable story. While Reed has announced recently that he’s going to be playing another season, he is a free agent and may not return to Ravens. If Reed has a good day in terms of tackles, gets a pick, and some some nice return yards, the league would be excited for opportunity to tell this story over and over this off-season.
4) Navorro Bowman
Patrick Willis gets all the publicity, but Bowman is the better linebacker in my eyes, especially against the run. If the Ravens feed Ray Rice all game, Bowman could easily have a game with 18 tackles. If he also gets a forced fumble or an interception mixed in there, he could easily walk away with the MVP hardware.
5) Paul Kruger
Kruger is the pass rusher for the Ravens that will be responsible for getting to Kaepernick. If he can get a couple sacks, a few other pressures, and manages chase down Kaepernick a few times when he tries to escape the pocket, then Kruger will be a big reason why the Ravens would win this game. Throw in a forced fumble on a strip-sack, and Kruger could definitely leave New Orleans with the MVP award.