Micah Parsons finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting in each of his first two seasons, so it was no surprise that he entered 2023 as the favorite for the award. With another pick-six or two over the final five games, DaRon Bland could supplant his Dallas Cowboys teammate as the consensus favorite.
As of this writing, though, that title belongs to Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
The latest odds for DPOY show Parsons is nipping at Garrett's heels. With a strong finish to the campaign, Parsons could easily take home the hardware. He'd also need Garrett to fade somewhat during the home stretch of the schedule.
An injury seemingly is the only thing capable of slowing down Garrett and the four-time Pro Bowler hasn't practiced this week because of a shoulder injury suffered in Week 12.
Myles Garrett's injury could catapult Cowboys' Micah Parsons to DPOY
Garrett has hinted that he'll play through the injury, but it stands to reason it could hinder his effectiveness for the rest of the year.
After Sunday's loss to the Broncos, Garrett was seen wearing a sling over the injured shoulder and said that he heard a pop in the shoulder during the loss. Team reporters noted that Garrett struggled putting a shirt on after the game, presumably because his shoulder was in that much pain.
The conventional wisdom is that Garrett is the NFL's premier pass rusher. This season has really hammered that home, as Garrett is tied for second in sacks (13) and pass rush win rate (28%). He also has 49 pressures, 23 QB hits, four forced fumbles, and 29 defensive stops, per Pro Football Focus.
Garrett is a worthy favorite for Defensive Player of the Year, but this news could open the door for Parsons to surge past the Browns star.
Stats aren't everything, but they hold a ton of influence in voting and Parsons has Garrett beat in multiple prominent categories, including pressures (71, which leads the NFL and is 22 more than Garrett's 49), pass rush win rate (33%) double team rate (33% to 31%) and tackles for loss. Parsons also has nearly double the number of hurries Garrett has (47 to 27).
Garrett has been the favorite for the award all season, but Parsons has closed the gap in recent weeks. Per the latest odds entering Week 13, Parsons is +175 to win DPOY, right behind Garrett's +160 odds.
With more signature moments like when he clinched Thursday's win against the Seahawks with a near-sack, Parsons will leap past Garrett.
This obviously hinges on Parsons producing down the stretch, but with more big-time performances and signature moments like when he clinched Thursday's win against the Seahawks, the two-time All-Pro will be primed to claim the first Defensive Player of the Year award of his young career.