For a long period of time, the Baltimore Ravens had four of the best and premier defensive players in their prime. The New York Yankees core four of Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, and Mariano Rivera helped lead New York to amazing things, and while the Ravens core four of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, and Terrell Suggs didn't win five championships together, they still helped propel Baltimore to constant contention every year and an identity of toughness.
As the years have gone by, only one remains in the form of Suggs, with Ngata being the only other player still active in the league with the Detroit Lions. Turning 35 in October, Suggs has been facing father time, knowing that his tenure in the NFL is coming to an end. Suggs even said two years ago that he was on the "back nine" of his career. That 2015 season would end before it really could even begin as Suggs suffered his second Achillies tear in Week 1 at Denver.
Two years later, Suggs is not only leading a defense that has been one of the best in the NFL through 12 games of the season, the 35-year old is playing like he's 25. Suggs has been a constant source of pressure for the Ravens defense, being 6th in the NFL in sacks with 10.5 on the year. It also helps that a player like Matthew Judon has made a big jump this year, nabbing six sacks of his own. Suggs has also continued to be a great run-stopper on the edge yet again.
While Suggs doesn't have an interception this season, he has forced four fumbles so far. That ties him for second in the NFL with Lorenzo Alexander, Lavonte David, DeMarcus Lawrence and Joey Bosa. His most recent turned out to be huge in a Ravens win. Last Monday night against the Texans he forced a turnover on quarterback Tom Savage with Baltimore up 20-16 with 4:56 to go in the 4th quarter.
When it comes to the Defensive Player Of The Year voting for 2017, names such as Demarcus Lawrence, Bobby Wagner, Cameron Jordan, and Aaron Donald lead the pack when it comes to the favorites for this year’s award. While Suggs won't be mentioned as such, and the season he is having isn't 2011, what he is doing at this stage of his career is nothing short of remarkable. Suggs, at the very least, deserves some consideration for Defensive Player Of The Year. If nothing else, he has cemented himself as a bona fide Hall Of Famer.