As Bill Williamson, ESPN's AFC West Blogger, hands out his own awards of 2011 from the conference, only one Kansas City Chiefs player stands out above the rest as being better than anyone else. That player, surprising to no one, is Derrick Johnson as the well-rounded linebacker was named the AFC West Defensive Player of the Year.
While there's no obvious ceremony involved, it's a nice feather in the cap for Johnson on the end of a truly incredible season. Williamson writes:
He is one of the more underrated players in the NFL. He is a tackling machine and a timely playmaker. Johnson was brilliant in 2011 as he had a career-high 131 tackles. Along with fellow Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali, Johnson is the centerpiece to a potentially standout defense.
If the Chiefs are able to get everyone back and healthy in 2012 and can re-sign Brandon Carr, this defense could continue to make moves towards the NFL's best.