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Troy Polamalu Wins NFL Defensive Player Of The Year Award

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year tonight in a ceremony televised live on NFL Network at 8PM et.  This could be the first in a trend that sees the NFL end up with a postseason awards show, similar to the one in NASCAR.

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Polamalu, who will play in Super Bowl XLV with the Steelers on Sunday, beat out Green Bay Packers lineback Clay Matthews and Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers for the award.  Matthews will gladly trade this award for the big prize come Sunday night.

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Polamalu had a huge season in 2010, finishing with 63 tackles and 7 interceptions.  He only had 1 sack, but it came against the Baltimore Ravens late in the season that turned the game - and the Steelers season around.  The sack caused a fumble that was recovered by the Steelers.  Pittsburgh went on to score the go-ahead touchdown, locking up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.  That was key since the Ravens lost the BYE week and had to travel to Pittsburgh during the divisional round.  The Steelers won the game, of course, 31-24 - coming from 21-7 down at halftime.

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Polamalu has been quiet during the playoffs, totally just 7 tackles in two playoff games while battling an ankle injury.

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Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.