Vic Beasley Jr. may have solidified his case for NFL Defensive Player of the Year in being named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month for December.
Vic Beasley became the first Atlanta Falcons defender since Jessie Tuggle to win the NFC Defensive Player of the Month award. Beasley wrapped up the regular season with a league-high 15.5 sacks, six of which came over the last month. He also tallied 39 tackles, six forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in 2016.
It wasn’t long ago when fans were ready to give up on the sophomore edge rusher. This year, Beasley has become a huge fan favorite while leading a defense that has steadily improved late into the season. Atlanta’s defense still ranks near the bottom of the league in many categories, but they’ve developed a knack for starting fast and making big stops. Beasley has ripped off a number of big plays throughout the season, often times providing the much-needed spark.
It’s been a long time since the Falcons enjoyed a defender that opposing teams really had to game plan around. Atlanta will need every bit of electricity Beasley provides when they host their first playoff game at the Georgia Dome since 2012.
Vic Beasley did temporarily exit the Falcons’ Week 17 game vs New Orleans due to a shoulder injury. He returned in the second quarter and sacked Drew Brees during the Saints’ sixth drive. Dan Quinn has assured Falcons fans that Beasley’s injury isn’t serious and will not cause limitations moving forward.
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Sadly, Beasley fell a sack short of John Abraham’s single-season record in Atlanta.
The question moving forward is whether or not Beasley will win the NFL’s Defense Player of the Year award. The competition remains stiff with Von Miller and Landon Collins also in heavy contention. Beasley undoubtedly brings the best resume given his numbers and incredible presence on the Falcons defense.
Atlanta’s lack of respect from the national media, combined with the Von Miller “love fest”, may rob Beasley in the award voting. However the voting turns out for 2016, it doesn’t appear to be the last in which Beasley is a contender.