We’re down to the final two Maffies!
Today, Buffalo’s Defensive Player of the Year is being awarded. This award ended up being the tightest race as the Bills had no shortage of candidates.
While Marcell Dareus, Leodis McKelvin, and Jerry Hughes had fantastic seasons, they only made up 5% of the vote. The other 95% was spread out between Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Kiko Alonso.
The Maffie for Buffalo’s Defensive Player of the Year: Kiko Alonso
Alonso took 34 percent of the vote with Kyle Williams (32%) and Mario Williams (29%) right on his heels. All of the aforementioned names were worthy candidates, but the Legend of Kiko Alonso grew as the squeaked by the competition.
Alonso finished the season third in the league in total tackles (159) while playing all 1,176 of Buffalo’s defensive snaps. Alonso’s ability to drop into coverage made him a versatile weapon for the Bills and his accomplishments this season did not go unnoticed.
Advanced NFL Stats ranked Alonso as the top inside linebacker in the NFL. No ILB had a higher Win Probability Added (WPA) than Alonso’s 5.08. In case you’re unfamiliar with WPA, here is the definition:
An individual player’s WPA is the sum of the WPA of the plays in which that player was directly involved. Defensive players are credited for WPA when they tackle or sack the ball carrier, are credited with an assisted tackle or sack, cause a fumble, defend a pass, or are flagged for a penalty.
Alonso had one of the best rookie seasons for a Buffalo Bill in recent history, and is very worthy of winning the Maffie for Defensive Player of the Year.