Have at It: Woodson or Allen?

We started an interesting debate during Tuesday’s SportsNation chat, one that should spill over into the larger NFC North community.

I think we can all agree that this division boasts two of the NFL’s top four candidates for defensive player of the year. I’ve suggested Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson should be first in line to win the award, but Matt of St. Paul was among those who countered that Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen is having a better season. I would love to know what everyone thinks and am open to being talked out of my position.

We know what the voters usually look at: Interceptions for cornerbacks and sacks for defensive ends/outside linebackers. Through 11 games, Woodson ranks third in the NFL with seven interceptions. Allen ranks second with 12.5 sacks. But when you look at the expanded statistics below, you see that both players have had success across the board: Woodson as an all-field playmaker and Allen as a consistent disrupter on the line of scrimmage.

You could argue that New Orleans safety Darren Sharper (eight interceptions, three returned for touchdowns) and Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil (14 sacks) are the top two candidates for DPOY -- especially when you consider the criteria most voters usually abide by. But this is the NFC North blog, so feel free to limit your conversation to Woodson and Allen if that makes it easier.

As always, I’ll survey your responses and publish a representative sample -- along with my own take -- Friday morning. Have at It.