NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks named Landon Collins their No. 5 player of 2016:
A new and improved Giants' defense allowed 17.8 points per game this past season - second best in the NFL - rebounding from allowing 27.6 points per game in 2015.
A significant reason for the turnaround was the play of safety Landon Collins. The second-year pro became the first player in NFL history to record at least 100 solo tackles, two sacks, five interceptions and 12 passes defended in a season. The breakout year earned Collins a nod on the AP All-Pro team, the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) All-NFL team and his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
On Thursday, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks showered Collins with even more praise for his outstanding season, naming him their No. 5 player of the 2016 season.
"He came on like gangbusters," Brooks said. "Landon Collins really stepped up. To me, I thought he should have been the Defensive Player of the Year. Outstanding athlete with tremendous versatility."
That versatility was on full display in London during a Week 7 matchup against the Rams. Collins made a game-changing play off a tipped pass and ran the interception back for a 44-yard touchdown return. Collins ran a total distance of 84 yards on the play, according to NFL's Next Gen Stats.
"When you look at Landon Collins this season, it wasn't just his ability to make plays on the football, but the ability to blitz off the edge, create fumbles and really be a guy that was a tackling machine," said Brooks. "He did everything for the New York Giants and that's one of the reasons why he makes my list as a top five player."
Here is Brooks and Jeremiah's list of the Top 5 players of the 2016 season:
- Safety Landon Collins – New York Giants
- Running Back David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals
- Running Back Le'Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Quarterback Tom Brady – New England Patriots
- Quarterback Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons